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Transfusion Medicine

The concept of transfusion medicine using human blood and its components has been well established in the human field for many years. Millions of people have benefited from transfusions of whole blood or its components such as plasma, platelets, clotting factors and immunoglobulins. In the veterinary field this aspect of preventing and treating disease has not been well developed except for the transfusion of immunity from donor horses to foals. In the United Kingdom equine veterinary surgeons in recent years have crudely made their own equine plasma with consequent difficulties relating to quality control and product safety. For over 25 years, Veterinary Immunogenics has been at the forefront of development and supply of commercial quality equine plasma products as demanded by discerning equine veterinary surgeons and the rise in popularity of the horse. The Company operates in total compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice as required by the licensing authorities.

Production

Plasma is produced by removing all the cells, both red and white, from whole blood mixed with a suitable anticoagulant. It consists of fluid and proteins with the proteins falling into two main components of dietary protein and immune protein. The plasma produced by the Company is used for its immune protein content known as immunoglobulin more particularly immunoglobulin-G ( IgG), which is augmented by the implementation of validated vaccination protocols, to enhance the recipient foal’s immune system. More...

Plasma and Foal Immunodeficiency

Foals are born with a naïve immune system and little or no circulating IgG. Under normal circumstances nature provides for the foal to acquire its ability to fight and resist infectious disease by causing its dam to concentrate IgG in its colostrum immediately prior to giving birth and then for the foal to ingest sufficient colostrum within a few hours of being born to absorb the whole molecules of protein. For various reasons this mechanism fails and the foal of 12-18 hours of age, although outwardly healthy, may have inadequate levels of circulating IgG, with no prospect of immediately improving the situation because further ingestion of colostrum or milk is broken down by the developing digestive enzymes. The only way this can be rectified is to transfuse equine plasma into the foal’s vein. It is well documented in veterinary literature the benefit that this provides in the prevention and treatment of infectious disease. More...

Controlling Equine Disease

Plasma harvested from donors vaccinated against specific septic disease is used in the prevention and control of infections such as Rhodococcus equi, a causative agent of primarily purulent pneumonia in foals and Endotoxaemia, the number one cause of death in the horse.

Plasma also has added benefits as it contains benificial peptides such as gamma interferon, cytokines and interleukins. Its albumin content, too, is important in stabilizing the oncotic pressure of the blood. It is therefore excellent in the role of support therapy.