You are currently viewing 43 Difference Between Antiserum and Serum

43 Difference Between Antiserum and Serum

The phrases serum and antiserum are frequently used while discussing immunology and medical studies. In the context of immune responses and disease prevention in particular, they both have significant roles in the study of immunology.

The liquid portion of blood that is still present after blood coagulation is referred to as serum. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets that are solid when blood is drawn and allowed to clot fall to the bottom of the collection container. Serum is the transparent liquid that stays on top. Numerous proteins, hormones, electrolytes, antibodies, and other substances vital to numerous physiological processes can be found in serum.

A substance made from blood called antiserum has antibodies against particular antigens. In response to the presence of foreign substances known as antigens, the immune system creates antibodies, which are proteins.

 Proteins or other substances that cause an immune response are typically considered antigens. An organism’s immune system produces particular antibodies that bind to and neutralize the antigen when it is exposed to it.

Passive immunization is one frequent use of antiserum. A person may not have enough time to create enough antibodies to neutralize the threat if they are exposed to a dangerous antigen (such as a poison or a virus). Antiserum containing already-formed antibodies against the antigen can be given in these circumstances to offer instant protection. Given that the person is not actively producing the antibodies themselves, this is referred to as passive immunization.







Antibody-rich fluid obtained from the blood

Liquid component of blood without clotting factors



Derived from the blood of an immunized animal

Derived from the blood of a human or animal



Contains antibodies against specific antigens

Plays a role in various bodily functions, including transportation of nutrients and waste products



Provides passive immunity against specific pathogens

Does not provide immunity on its own


Clotting factors

Lacks clotting factors

Contains clotting factors, allowing it to coagulate


Antibody specificity

Contains antibodies specific to the antigen used for immunization

Contains a wide range of antibodies against various antigens encountered by the individual



Used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, such as treating snakebite or viral infections

Primarily used for diagnostic purposes in clinical tests



Produced by injecting an animal with an antigen and collecting the resulting blood

Obtained by drawing blood from a person or animal and allowing it to clot



Often used in passive immunization and research applications

Utilized in clinical tests, blood typing, and medical diagnosis



Typically stored at low temperatures to preserve antibody activity

Usually stored at standard refrigeration temperatures


Shelf life

Generally has a longer shelf life compared to serum

Has a shorter shelf life due to clotting


Risk of contamination

Lower risk of contamination due to the absence of clotting factors

Higher risk of contamination if not handled properly



Requires processing to remove blood cells and other components

Requires minimal processing after coagulation


Serum separator tube

Not typically used for collection

Often collected using a serum separator tube to separate serum from clot


Antibody concentration

Contains high antibody concentrations against a specific antigen

Antibody concentration is lower and more diverse


Role in research

Valuable tool in research for studying specific immune responses

Useful for various biochemical and hematological studies


Role in diagnostics

Used in serological tests like ELISA and Western blotting

Essential for a wide range of diagnostic tests, including blood chemistry panels



Contains antibodies, antigens, and minimal cellular components

Contains antibodies, electrolytes, hormones, and more


Allergenic potential

Lower potential for allergenic reactions

May contain allergens from the individual or animal



Limited availability, as it depends on the production of antiserum

Easily available as it is a natural component of blood


Viral inactivation

Generally not subjected to viral inactivation procedures

May undergo viral inactivation methods for safety



Costlier to produce due to animal immunization

Less expensive to obtain from blood donors


Autoimmune diseases

Less likely to be associated with autoimmune diseases

Can be affected by autoimmune conditions


Clotting time

Does not clot and remains in liquid form

Clots after a certain period of time


Use in blood typing

Not used for blood typing tests

Essential for ABO and Rh blood typing


Therapeutic use

Used for specific therapeutic purposes, such as antivenom

Not used therapeutically in its natural form


Application in vaccine production

Important in the development of some vaccines

Not directly involved in vaccine production


Microbial contamination

Lower risk of bacterial contamination

Prone to bacterial contamination if not handled properly


Role in transfusion medicine

Not used in blood transfusions

Critical for blood transfusions and compatibility testing


Cellular components

Lacks cellular components like red and white blood cells

Contains cellular components, including red and white blood cells


Storage conditions

Requires specialized storage conditions to maintain antibody activity

Can be stored under standard laboratory conditions


Protein concentration

High protein concentration primarily due to antibodies

Contains proteins at a lower concentration


Role in immune response

Provides immediate immune response due to pre-existing antibodies

Part of the body’s natural immune response


Applications in research

Used for studying specific antigen-antibody interactions

Utilized for various research purposes, including disease studies


Role in immune tolerance

May not contribute significantly to immune tolerance

Plays a role in immune tolerance and self-recognition


Preservation methods

Preserved by freezing or lyophilization

Preserved mainly by refrigeration


Presence of complement proteins

May contain complement proteins

Contains complement proteins for immune function


Cellular components removal

Requires filtration or centrifugation to remove cells

Cellular components are removed during clot formation


Use in antibody production

Used as a source of antibodies for production

Not used as a source of antibodies for production


Use in immunotherapy

Essential in some forms of immunotherapy, such as passive immunization

Not directly used for immunotherapy


Role in autoimmune testing

Can be used in specific autoimmune tests to detect antibodies

Not commonly used in autoimmune testing


Coagulation factors testing

Not applicable for coagulation factor testing

Used in coagulation factor testing


Role in wound healing

Not directly involved in wound healing

Plays a role in wound healing by facilitating clot formation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. When using antiserum, are there any risks?

Antiserum can boost immunity quickly, but it also carries a risk of allergic reactions, serum sickness, or anaphylaxis. Through appropriate screening and testing, the likelihood of these negative reactions is often reduced.

Q2. Is antiserum a viable alternative to antibiotics?

Antiserum does not serve as a substitute for antibiotics. Antiserum is used to target certain antigens and produce passive immunity, whereas antibiotics are used to directly kill or stop the growth of bacteria. They play several functions in the management of infections.

Q3. Can anyone make antiserum?

Although it is possible for humans to manufacture antiserum, bigger volumes of antiserum are often produced using animals like horses or rabbits. Human antiserum can be utilized in some circumstances, although animal-derived antiserum is frequently more successful since it can be collected in higher volumes.

Q4. What distinguishes serum from plasma?

While serum is produced after the clotting process has removed the clotting factors, plasma is the liquid portion of blood that still includes clotting factors. Fibrinogen and other clotting proteins are absent from serum.

Q5. Can you transfuse using serum?

Because serum lacks the clotting factors found in plasma, it cannot be used for transfusions. It is ineffective for clotting or preserving blood volume.

Q6. How does one obtain serum for medical purposes?

A blood sample is allowed to coagulate, and then the liquid is removed from the blood cells by centrifuging the sample.

Q7. What function does serum serve in the body?

Nutrients, hormones, and waste materials are transported throughout the body via serum. Additionally, it has antibodies that support immunological responses and pathogen defense.

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