Syllabus: GS3/Developments in Science and Technology
- India has reached out to Australia seeking to restock monoclonal antibody doses to combat the Nipah virus.
- The monoclonal antibody has passed the phase-one trial and has been administered to 14 persons globally till now.
- Since the mortality among the infected is very high in Nipah — between 40% and 70%, the priority as of now is to ensure that the Nipah virus is contained as fast as possible, and antibodies could be one of the ways to reduce the mortality rate.
- Monoclonal antibodies are proteins made in laboratories that act like antibodies in our bodies.
- Antibodies are parts of your immune system. They seek out the antigens (foreign materials) and stick to them in order to destroy them.
- Laboratory-made monoclonal antibodies help stimulate the immune system.
- The word “monoclonal” refers to the fact that the antibodies created in the laboratory are clones.
- Monoclonal antibodies are used for diagnosis, disease treatment and research.
Monoclonal antibodies have already been tried and tested for the treatment of Covid 19 virus.
- Though it is made available to India for compassionate use, the antibody is not a treatment. There is no authorised treatment for Nipah. It has to be administered in the early stage of the infection.
- So far the information available says that it is safe but can’t say about its effectiveness.
- The antibody is used in Australia for the Hendra virus, which is bat-borne. Two doses of the antibody have to be given per person.