Hope from plasma therapy against Covid-19

Hope from plasma therapy against Covid-19 4

Plasma therapy is based on a medical concept called `passive immunity`.

“Blood from people who have recovered from (Covid-19) could be very useful,” said Arturo Casadevall, chair of the department of microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Therapy is on the agenda.”

Mr. Casadevall hopes this can be a short-term measure to support the health system, which is under heavy pressure as the number of patients increases rapidly and there is no approved medicine or vaccine.

But he and his colleagues also face major challenges in terms of regulations, logistics and science for application.

Image of nCoV isolated from a real disease sample under a microscope.

Researchers must collect plasma from recovered people, then test and determine whether they have the ability to fight the virus or not.

Many infectious disease experts are sharing information through grassroots networks, supporting each other to conduct clinical trials, and discussing ideas about plasma screening for antiviral antibodies.

On March 24, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it was trying to create conditions for patients to access experimental treatment.

`We always try to try the newest and most groundbreaking methods. Traditional methods are also effective, but are often ignored,` said Jeffrey P. Henderson, an infectious disease expert at the University of Washington, one of

To test this therapy, experts need to develop a test to measure antibody levels.

According to Mr. Casadevall, the therapy can treat people who have already had Covid-19 or be used as a preventative measure for healthcare workers – people who are at high risk of exposure because of repeated exposure to the virus.

`If done properly and collect enough plasma from someone who has been infected, you will have the antibodies to protect others,` said Wayne A. Marasco, an infectious disease specialist at Dana-Farber Oncology in

Hope from plasma therapy against Covid-19

A Covid-19 patient received a plasma transfusion containing antibodies from a recovered person at Hubei Provincial Hospital, China.

The approach of each medical facility may be different.

But there are still many open questions.

On March 27, the state of Maryland and Bloomberg Philanthropies, a charity organization based in New York, announced they would co-fund $4 million to support scientists.

Research on plasma therapy is just part of experts’ extensive efforts to treat Covid-19 based on humans’ natural immune response.

`No one sees plasma as a long-term solution. This is an alternative treatment while waiting for drugs and vaccines,` said Van Bloch, associate professor of pathology at Hopkins.

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