29 June 2020

 Asian donors are being sought for the UK’s convalescent plasma treatment programme for COVID‑19. Research from NHS Blood and Transplant has revealed that a donor from an Asian background is twice as likely to have high antibody levels compared to a white donor.

Preliminary analysis of donors found that 63% of Asians met the required threshold for antibodies compared with 36% of white donors. There was also a gender discrepancy in antibody levels, the analysis found. 44% of male donors had high antibody levels compared with 29% of female donors.

The analysis involved 592 people who donated between 21st April and 11th May. High antibody titre was defined as a EUROimmun titre greater than or equal to 6.0.

Professor Dave Roberts, associate medical director for blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “These are early results from a relatively small number of donors but the results are statistically significant. Our donors so far from Asian backgrounds were more likely to have the plasma which could save lives than white donors.

“We are not yet sure why this is the case. The indications from our work so far, and past studies, is that the more seriously ill people became, the more antibodies they made. A Public Health England report suggested people from Asian communities who have COVID-19 have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill.”

Donor Bhairvi Sampat, an infection prevention and control nurse, said: “I think there needs to be more openness in the Asian community. There’s still some stigma around the virus, a lot of people wouldn’t even say they had had the virus.

“I would definitely say to other Asian people that they should go and donate. It’s a simple procedure. You can help people who are less fortunate.”

Source: NHS Blood and Transplant https://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/news/asian-donors-more-likely-to-have-covid-19-convalescent-plasma-which-could-save-lives/


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