• Sunday, Dec 06, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:57 am

Convalescent plasma less effective in treating Covid-19 patients

  • Published at 11:41 am October 23rd, 2020
Covid-19 structure
Photo: Reuters

Convalescent plasma has failed to reduce death rates, according to a clinical trial

Using blood of recovered Covid-19 patients - or so-called convalescent plasma - as a potential treatment is of little benefit in helping hospitalized patients fight off the infection, according to results of a clinical trial in India.

Published in the BMJ British Medical Journal on Friday, the results showed that convalescent plasma, which delivers antibodies from Covid-19 survivors to infected people, failed to reduce death rates or halt progression to severe disease.

The findings, from a study of more than 400 hospitalized Covid-19 patients, are a setback for a treatment that US President Donald Trump touted in August as an “historic breakthrough”. The United States and India have authorized convalescent plasma for emergency use.

Other countries, including Britain, are collecting donated plasma so that it could be widely rolled out if shown to be effective.

“The trial was able to show a small effect on the rate at which patients were able rid themselves of the virus, but this was not enough to improve their recovery from the disease,” said Simon Clarke, an expert cellular microbiologist at the University of Reading.

“In simple terms, there were no clinical benefits to the patients,” the microbiologist said.

The Indian researchers enrolled 464 adults with confirmed moderate Covid-19 who were admitted to hospitals across India between April and July. 

They were randomly split into two groups - with one group receiving two transfusions of convalescent plasma, 24 hours apart, alongside best standard care, and the control group best standard care only.

After 7 days, use of convalescent plasma seemed to improve some symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue, the researchers said, and led to higher rates of something known as “negative conversion” - a sign that the virus is being neutralized by antibodies.

But this did not translate into a reduction in deaths or progression to severe disease by 28 days.

“The poor performance of convalescent plasma in this trial is disappointing but not entirely surprising,” said Ian Jones, a professor of virology, also at Reading University.

He said the plasma is more likely to work if given very swiftly after someone is contracts Covid-19.

Ian urged these and other researchers to continue to conduct trials of convalescent plasma as a potential Covid-19 treatment, but to do so in newly diagnosed patients.

“We still do not have enough treatments for the early stage of disease to prevent severe disease and until this becomes an option, avoiding being infected with the virus remains the key message,” he said.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail