For 10 seriously ill patients with new coronavirus, one dose of antibodies taken from the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19 seems to save lives, shorten the duration of symptoms, increase oxygen levels and accelerate the clearance of the virus, a new research report is published.
Preliminary findings emerge from “pilot studies” was published Monday in the PNAS journal, Proceedings of the National Academyies of Sciences. Performed in three hospitals in China, it promises only to suggest the benefits of taking immune antibodies from people who recover (also called plasma recovery) and give them to people who are fighting against severe cases of COVID-19.
But his findings offer hope that therapy with a long history and a simple premise can be a powerful treatment for COVID-19 patients who struggle to breathe. In the early 20thth century, doctors transferred blood-transmitted antibodies from patients who had recovered from polio, measles, mumps and flu to those who were still in the grip of the infection. Armed with veterans’ immune memory from viral infections, patients who get recovery plasma seem to recover faster and more completely than patients who don’t get treatment, doctors observed.
With the vaccine at least one more year and no clear treatment is available for COVID-19, U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 24th Approved use of such therapy as an experimental treatment in clinical trials and for critical patients without other options.
The new pilot study suggests that therapy will not disappoint. One patient, a 46-year-old man with high blood pressure who appeared in hospital with fever, cough, shortness of breath and chest pain, relied on a ventilator to push oxygen to his lungs, and still his blood-oxygen level was 86% gloomy. (Normal readings range from 95% to 100%.)
Eleven days after the first symptoms appear, the patient receives an infusion called recovery plasma. On the 12th day, his blood was negative for SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. The level of inflammation of his body dropped sharply. And the blood oxygen level has increased by 90%. The next day, he was weaned from mechanical ventilation that had breathed for him for three days.
In addition to his lungs, the patient’s immune system and liver function, both on the cord at the peak of his illness, continue to return to normal four days after he is infused with plasma antibodies.
For a 49-year-old woman without an underlying disease, COVID-19 infection quickly progresses to shortness of breath and hospitalization. On the seventh day after the onset of symptoms, the chest radiograph has shown the unclear nature of the ground glass and he experiences a buildup of fluid or protein – infiltrates – that are spread in both lungs. On the 10th day after the onset of symptoms, he received a cured plasma infusion. On the 12th day, he had cleared the virus from his system and his chest radiograph was clear.
A 50-year-old man with “massive infiltrates” in both lungs showed gradual cleansing of the lungs and was declared negative for infection 25 days after his first symptoms appeared.
In ten patients, the symptoms that drove them to seek emergency treatment had disappeared or most improved within one to three days after they received antibody transfusions from a recovering donor. Two out of three patients who breathe with the help of a mechanical ventilator can replace it with oxygen delivered to the nose.
None of the 10 patients died, and only one unexpected side effect – red bruising on one patient’s face – was detected.
This study was not designed to have a comparison group of patients who did not receive plasma recovery. But the authors did make a control group from a random selection of 10 COVID-19 patients treated in the same hospital and matched ten study participants in age and sex and severity of the disease.
The two groups looked more or less the same on the first day of their admission to the hospital. But over the next few weeks, their illnesses developed in very different ways. In the comparison group, three died, six saw their condition stable, and one got better during the study period.
Of those who received recovery plasma, three were discharged from the hospital, and the remaining seven were rated “far better” and were ready to be discharged.
“This pilot study begins [convalescent plasma] “The therapy shows potential therapeutic effects and low risk in the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients,” the authors of the new study wrote. “One dose [convalescent plasma] with high concentrations of antidote antibodies can quickly reduce viral load and tend to improve clinical outcomes, “they added.
The writers, led by Kai Duan from National Biotec Group Co. Ltd. China, says that only larger and more detailed studies will clarify the dose at which plasma recovery produces the greatest healing effect, and when it should ideally be given.
In recent days, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) has issued urgent appeal for COVID-19 patients who recover to donate blood plasma for the manufacture of antibody-rich infusions. The first state blood bank to be a storage center for recovery plasma, NYBC will collect, process plasma for infusion, and maintain banks for hospitals to treat patients with serious or directly life-threatening COVID-19 infections.
Operate under the guidelines were released last week by Assn American Blood Bank, an international nonprofit that focuses on transfusion treatment and cellular therapy, dozens of community blood centers throughout the country has also begun collect blood to make treatments like that.
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Also has launched small convalescent plasma trials as a way to reduce COVID-19 complications.
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