convalescent serum


: blood serum that is obtained from an individual who has recovered from an infectious disease and contains antibodies against the infectious agent of the disease and may be administered by intravenous transfusion to prevent or treat infection in other individuals
In addition to its use during the 1918 flu pandemic, convalescent serum therapy also was used for the measles, mumps and polio in the first half of the 20th century. It became less relevant with the advent of vaccines and antiviral drugs.Todd Ackerman
compare antiserum

Note: The terms convalescent serum and convalescent plasma are often used interchangeably.

Word History

First Known Use

1902, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of convalescent serum was in 1902

Dictionary Entries Near convalescent serum

Cite this Entry

“Convalescent serum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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