Two new clinical trials will be conducted this week to test plasma from COVID-19 recovered patients on people who have exposed to the virus. From the first stage of studies from a very small sample size, it is evaluated that the use of survivor plasma to treat COVID-19 patients reduced 50% of the mortality rate. The test will be conducted at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and at 15 other sites across the country.
Two New Clinical Trials By Using Survivor Plasma
The paper presented after a thorough study by researchers at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine also showed that the treatment was more effective and is safe too.
“This initial assessment offers evidence in support of convalescent plasma transfusion as an effective intervention in COVID-19. Preliminary data suggest a potential mortality benefit, but greater numbers are needed to draw definitive conclusions,” mentioned in the paper.
Till today, there is no effective vaccine for COVID-19 which has killed 350,000 people worldwide and nearly 100,000 in the US.
Survivor Plasma to Treat COVID-19
How survivor plasma is used to tackle the virus? The survivor plasma helps patients to produce antibodies immediately against coronavirus. So patients don’t have to wait until their immune system to produce antibodies. This technique of treatment using plasma from those who have recovered from disease to treat those who are affected with the disease was found more than a century back during the treatment of a German child suffering from diphtheria.
To date, this treatment technique has been used during the outbreaks of viral diseases such as measles, mumps, poliomyelitis, and influenza.
The science behind this technique is that the plasma from survivors will have numerous antibodies that have helped them to defeat the virus. When this plasma is injected into a suffering patient, the recipient’s body can produce immediate immune against the virus feather than waiting for their own immune system to produce antibodies. But the most important disadvantage of this technique is the side effects that may cause due to this like an allergic reaction and infectious disease transmission.
So it is a bit risky and should consider these side effects while processing this type of treatment. Survivor plasma technique has been a success in treating a different type of Coronavirus, Severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
The researchers at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine is very confident and hopeful in survivor plasma treatment.
“We are encouraged that our initial assessment offers evidence in support of convalescent plasma as an effective intervention while remaining mindful that additional studies are needed to confirm these findings and draw more definitive conclusions in different populations,” said Nicole Bouvier, associate professor of medicine at the Icahn School and co-senior author of the paper.
A small clinical trial was conducted last week at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. for more reliability, more studies should be conducted. The two new clinical trials will be randomized to measure the effectiveness of the treatment in combating the disease. The studies will be conducted by two groups.
The first group includes health care workers who have had exposure to a COVID-19 patient while not wearing a mask, or have had exposure without a mask to a patient receiving CPR or insertion of a breathing tube, procedures that generate aerosolized virus. This first trial will involve 150 patients, which is 75 treated with survivor plasma and 75 with ordinary plasma. The second group contains around 300 patients who have tested COVID-19 positive. “I’m trying to avert hospitalizations and deaths.
That’s really going to be what brings America back to functioning,” said David Sullivan, an infectious disease doctor at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is leading the 300-patient trial and also working on the 150-patient trial.