Wednesday, 20 July 2022 12:43

Serums and antibodies: worldwide, more than 50 percent complain of insufficient knowledge about animal-free alternatives Featured

A new survey conducted by the EU reveals gaps in knowledge about the animal-free production of serums, antibodies, and enzymes.  

The survey was conducted online between December 2020 and May 2021 via the EU's survey management system. Researchers from academic institutions working with animal-derived sera, antibodies, or enzymes, as well as those from biotechnology companies, educators from educational institutions, and people from government institutions and nonprofits took part.

It turned out that one-third of the respondents were still unaware that animal-free alternatives are available. In addition, they said it was simply too expensive or they did not want to change laboratory protocols. In contrast, many are fundamentally aware of the main problems of working with animal ingredients, namely low reproducibility of results or batch variability.

Ethical concerns about the use of animal sera and antibodies were not seen as mainly problematic, but ethics were seen as one of the main advantages for using alternative ingredients - ahead of better reproducibility of results. Only about half of the participants were aware of the animal suffering associated with the production of sera and antibodies.

However, there are bright spots: biotechnology companies in particular are considering alternatives to animal-derived sera.

Original publication:
M. Cassotta, Bartnicka, J.J., Pistollato, F., Parvatam, S., Weber, T., D'Alessandro, V., Ferreira Bastos, L. & Coecke, S. (2022). A worldwide survey on the use of animal-derived materials and reagents in scientific experimentation. Eng Life Sci. 1-20. DOI: 10.1002/elsc.202100167.