Convalescent Plasma Therapy holds promise for Covid-19 patients

Even as the hunt for a vaccine to treat Covid-19 continues, a therapy that was previously used during the SARS and MERS epidemics holds promise.

In Convalescent Plasma Therapy, plasma from a COVID-19 recovered patient is transfused into an infected patient. The antibodies present in the plasma of the recovered patient help in neutralising the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the infected patient.

A task force constituted by Kerala government received approval for research protocol from ICMR for “convalescent plasma therapy”, reported Times of India.

The clinical trials will need approvals from the Drug Controller General of India, Ethics Committee and Clinical Trials Registry-India, the report quoted RR Gangakhedkar, chief epidemiologist at ICMR, as saying.

Dr Asha Kishore, speaking to TOI, said the research on convalescent plasma therapy to understand its effectiveness will be conducted at the transfusion department of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, an institute of national importance, and will be headed by Debashish Gupta.

Trials conducted on ten Covid-19 patients in China had showed significant improvement in their symptoms after convalescent plasma therapy was administered to them.

“From January 23, 2020, to February 19, 2020, 10 severe COVID-19 patients (six males and four females) were enrolled and received CP transfusion. The median age was 52.5 y,” a research article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stated.

“All symptoms in the 10 patients, especially fever, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain, disappeared or largely improved within 1 d to 3 d upon CP transfusion,” the article further added.

The counselling of those who have recovered from the COVID-19 infection and can become plasma donors is being done, the TOI report quoted Dr Anoop Kumar, who is a member of the task force constituted by Kerala government, as saying.

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