Over 480 coronavirus patients have been administered convalescent plasma therapy at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital over the last few months. These two hospitals are dedicated to coronavirus facilities. The Delhi government-run LNJP hospital had started the plasma therapy in June. As coronavirus is grappling the entire world, convalescent plasma therapy has emerged as the ray of new hope for critically-ill COVID-19 patients. The treatment has shown good results in improving the condition of the patient. But a new study has found that it may fasten the recovery, but antibodies given to coronavirus patients through this therapy may not last. According to the study, antibodies decline within a few months.
What is Convalescent Plasma Therapy
‘Plasma’ is a blood’s liquid component that carries hormones, antibodies, and various nutrients across the body. Convalescent Plasma Therapy is a medical procedure in which the plasma is collected from people who were infected with COVID-19 and have made a complete recovery. The people who have completely recovered develop antibodies and these are then used to treat serious COVID-19 patients by transfusing it into the blood of patients.
What Study Suggests
The study has found that antibodies given to COVID-19 patients through this convalescent plasma therapy might not last long and starts to decline within 3-4 months. The efficacy of this therapy has always been a topic of debate but it is the best and only solution researchers have right now.
According to the study, published in the journal ‘Blood,’ the antibodies develop after a person is infected with the coronavirus. These antibodies, which are naturally produced in the body, remain in the body for a few months to years. But the situation is not the same in the case of convalescent plasma.
“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,” said Renée Bazin, author of this study at Héma-Québec blood center, Canada.
COVID-19 antibodies in convalescent plasma began to disappear in donations made 3 to 4 months after symptom onset. Therefore, convalescent plasma as a treatment may be more effective when collected shortly after the donor’s recovery, according to the researchers.
According to the author, comprehensive studies were done before reaching on any conclusion. It was found that people who were seropositive or had antibodies in blood became seronegative after some time. This shows that antibodies decline over time.
So people who have recovered from COVID-19 and want to donate plasma should do this at the earliest.