As coronavirus is grappling the world, plasma treatment is the only hope of family members of critically-ill COVID-19 patients. This treatment is tried and tested to improve the condition of the patient and promote recovery. While this may fasten the recovery, the antibodies may not remain in the body for more than three months. A study has found that antibodies decline in donated plasma within a few months. All the other important details are given in this article.
Amidst the crisis and dire need for vaccines, plasma therapy brought a ray of hope. Many lives are saved with this treatment however, scientists have found that the antibodies given to the patient with this therapy might not last long and decline within a few months. The efficacy of convalescent plasma treatment has always been a subject of debate but it is the only solution we have right now.
Is Donated Plasma Therapy Effective?
The journal ‘Blood’ published a study according to which, antibodies present in the blood plasma of the donor start to decline within 3-4 months. These antibodies are produced in the body after the person catches an infection. Naturally-produced antibodies remain in the plasma for months and years but this might not be the case in convalescent plasma. This is the plasma donated by a recovered person to an ill person to bolster body’s infection-fighting abilities.
Author of this study Renée Bazin from Héma-Québec blood center, Canada says: “While many clinical trials are underway to better understand whether convalescent plasma is clinically beneficial for treating COVID-19, a key question is at what time point is it most effective to collect donor plasma based on the presence of antibodies that help fight the virus. Based on our findings, antibodies against the new coronavirus are not eternal.”
Convalescent Plasma and COVID-19
Comprehensive studies were done before the researchers came to this conclusion. People who were seropositive(presence of antibodies) became seronegative after a certain time period. This shows the decline in antibodies over time.
“The antibodies disappear rapidly, so people recovering from COVID-19 who want to donate blood plasma should not wait too long once they become eligible to donate. Based on our findings, clinicians should ideally use plasma that is collected early on after a donor’s onset of symptoms and check for the presence of antibodies before giving donor plasma to a patient,” said Dr. Bazin.
This finding may help in the prevention of re-infection of COVID-19 after treatment. It is indeed of great help and a subject for thorough research.
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