The key difference between serum and antiserum is that serum is the straw coloured fluid component of blood without blood cells and clotting factors, while antiserum is antibody-rich serum obtained from an immunized animal or human.
Blood is a specialized body fluid that circulates throughout our body, delivering essential substances such as oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells while removing carbon dioxide and metabolic waste from the body’s cells. Blood contains several components such as red blood cells, plasma, white blood cells and platelets. Plasma is the straw colour liquid part of the blood, including clotting factors. The serum is plasma without clotting factors. Hence, the serum does not clot or coagulate. It contains water and other dissolved substances such as electrolytes, hormones, antibodies, etc. Antiserum is another version of serum we obtain from an immunized individual or animal. It is rich in antibodies against a particular antigen. Antiserum provides passive immunity.
What is Serum?
The serum is the liquid part of the blood after coagulation. That means; the serum is the part of blood that does not have clotting factors. In simple words, the serum is the blood plasma without clotting factors. Hence, the volume of serum is less compared to blood plasma. Moreover, it does not contain fibrinogen. Extraction of serum involves centrifuging coagulated blood. The main component of the serum is water. It also contains electrolytes, antibodies, antigens, minerals, dissolved proteins, hormones, carbon dioxide, etc.
Generally, the density of serum is 1.024g/ml. It is the part of the blood that is useful when determining blood groups and various other blood diseases.
What is Antiserum?
Antiserum is an antibody-rich serum obtained from an immunized animal or individual. It contains antibodies against a particular or specific antigen. An antigen can be an infective organism or a poisonous substance. Antiserum provides passive immunity to a specific disease or poison due to receiving preformed antibodies against a particular antigen. Animals such as horse, sheep, and rabbit are often useful in extracting antiserum. However, human antiserum is more valuable than animal antiserum since it does not cause allergies, etc.
The most common use of antiserum in humans is the treatment against snake biting as antivenom. Moreover, antiserum is useful as antitoxin.
What are the Similarities Between Serum and Antiserum?
- Both serum and antiserum are straw colour liquids.
- Also, they contain antibodies.
- Both provide immunity.
What is the Difference Between Serum and Antiserum?
The serum is blood plasma without clotting factors, while antiserum is antibody-rich serum extracted from an immunized animal or immunized individual. So, this is the key difference between serum and antiserum. Furthermore, the serum is a natural fluid of the blood, while the production of antiserum involves artificially injecting a specific antigen to an animal or individual and extracting antibody-rich serum. Therefore, we can consider this also as a difference between serum and antiserum.
Below infographic shows more comparisons regarding the difference between serum and antiserum.
Summary – Serum vs Antiserum
Serum is the blood plasma without the clotting factors. It is a straw colour fluid separated from centrifuging the clotted blood. On the other hand, antiserum is an antibody-rich serum extracted from an immunized animal or individual. It is rich with a particular antibody generated against a specific antigen. Antiserum is useful in passive immunization. So, this summarizes the difference between serum and antiserum.