The 2nd installment of the series anchors the animation with a real-life scenario in 1920s Alaska, rushing diphtheria anti-toxin to treat an epidemic. Once upon a time, we didn’t have a vaccine for the deadly virus that causes diphtheria, and people who were infected with the diphtheria virus were infected easily and quickly, suffering debilitating symptoms requiring hospital treatment. The virus produces a toxin that attacks the nerve, heart, and kidney cells, ultimately leading to cell death.
This animation showcases antibodies, which are also referred to as anti- toxins in the case of diphtheria treatment, as they are given by injection to bind to the diphtheria toxin, neutralizing it and preventing cellular damage. The video merges live footage with 3D animation and depicts the cellular destruction that leads to the debilitating disease, as well as the tremendous role that antibodies play in delivering passive immunity. These days,
most infants in the United States are immunized against diphtheria, though the disease is still prevalent in low-income countries. Learn more about these animations in our blog, HILLEMAN – A PERILOUS QUEST TO SAVE THE WORLD’S CHILDREN