Plasma therapy more effective when obtained from recently recovered COVID patientsJune 22, 2020
Plasma therapy may only work effectively when the antibody laden plasma for treatment is retrieved from a recently recovered COVID patient, suggests a new study published in the journal Viruses.
The study, which was led by the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, found that the blood serum was more effective in neutralising the SARS CoV2 virus when added to the viral cell culture when obtained from recently recovered patients as the antibodies declined with time.
Supporting this findings, another study published in the journal Nature Medicine, also observed that IgG levels and neutralising antibodies in a high proportion of individuals who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection started to decrease within 2–3 months after infection.
This research, which was conducted in Wanzhou People’s Hospital, noted that the asymptomatic individuals carried fewer antibodies than symptomatic patients. The IgM antibodies produced during the preliminary stages of the infection were found to last longer in symptomatic patients.
“The IgM antibodies were found in 78.4 per cent of the symptomatic people and 62.2 per cent of the asymptomatic group when tested three to four weeks after getting infected,” noted the study.
The treatment, called convalescent plasma therapy uses transfusion of plasma from recovered patients to the infected ones. The plasma from recovered individuals will possess virus-fighting antibodies floating in the blood, and its transfusions may give recipients’ immune systems an assist in fighting off the virus.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic recently found the therapy to be comparatively safe for COVID treatment based on transfusions conducted across a diverse group of 20,000 patients. The findings — from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Expanded Access Program for COVID-19 — are reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.