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Tehnizzim t1_ivlztpn wrote

So we just poison horses lol. If they don’t die then why not just dose humans? I mean beyond the obvious that humans would rather test on animals. Is something about horses special for developing antibodies?


ThisTooWillEnd t1_ivm75ga wrote

Horses are heavy. Injecting very tiny doses of a venom makes them mildly ill for a few days, if at all. Then they can donate a gallon of blood at a time to harvest the antibodies. If you tried to get a gallon of blood out of a person, that person would die of blood loss, even after surviving the minor snake bite easily. Bonus: the horse is now safer from snake bites.


Brandon432 t1_ivm0u0o wrote

I’m sure there is something about serum compatibility or physiological similarity to humans, but I don’t know the answer.

We’re not talking about cosmetics testing here. We’re talking about saving human lives. If you want to sign up as the serum factory, more power to you. Otherwise save the indignation for the mink farms.


disgruntled-pigeon t1_ivm0pnh wrote

For the same reason we make vaccines instead of just infecting everyone with a virus. Not everyone’s immune system is strong enough.


firebolt_wt t1_ivmwwpk wrote

Anti venom is an useful medical resource, but do you know which resource is even more needed? Human blood.

No sense in wasting human blood for something you can avoid, specially when a human has around 5 liters of blood total , while a horse can lose 5L and live.


itsybitsybiter t1_ivmzci8 wrote

Plenty of blood mass, easy to handle and house, widely available.

It is possible for a human to immunize themselves against venom by injected low, dilute doses over time. But you risk (1) venom related toxicity, or (2) venom allergic sensitization. It's also just deeply impractical, dangerous in ways medicine does not accept for a reasonable risk to volunteers, and takes a long time to do safely (multiple small doses > one dose)


Ok_Construction5119 t1_ivn8viq wrote

Horses are bigger, can tolerate a higher dose (due to greater muscle mass), and produce more antibodies (in terms of volume, not concentration)