08 April 2020

Plasma therapy has shown promise for people with severe COVID-19, Chinese doctors have reported.

A project involving ten patients in Wuhan, China found that giving plasma donated by people who had recently recovered from COVID-19 led to a rapid improvement in symptoms within three days. The pilot study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The patients each received a single dose of plasma containing high levels of a SARS-Cov-2 neutralising antibody. After seven days, some patients showed signs of reabsorbing lung lesions, according to chest CT scans, the researchers report.

The results, though preliminary, suggest that convalescent plasma therapy might be a safe and promising treatment for severe COVID-19 patients. The clinical benefit, as well as the optimal dose and timing, need further investigation in randomised controlled clinical trials.

Source: Duan K, Liu B, Li C, Zhang H, Yu R, Qu J, Zhou M, Chen L, Meng S, Hu Y, Peng C, Yuan M, Huang J, Wang Z, Yu J, Gao X, Wang D, Yu X, Li L, Zhang J, Wu X, Li B, Xu Y, Chen W, Peng Y, Hu Y, Lin L, Liu X, Huang S, Zhou Z, Zhang L, Wang Y, Zhang Z, Deng K, Xia Z, Gong Q, Zhang W, Zheng X, Liu Y, Yang H, Zhou D, Yu D, Hou J, Shi Z, Chen S, Chen Z, Zhang X, Yang X (2020) “Effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in severe COVID-19 patients”, PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.2004168117


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