Hyperimmune plasma therapy decreases severity of covid-19

Covid-19 patients who were treated with donor plasma – hyperimmune plasma – who have overcome Covid-19 infection are less likely to need oxygen assistance 14 days after admission and, according to a study published in « Nature Medicine ‘, were more likely to survive than those who did not receive plasma.

Conducted in New York, this retrospective case-control study of 39 patients hospitalized with severe symptoms suggests that hyperimmune plasma may be potentially effective against COVID-19, although more studies are needed.

Therapy with plasma from donors who have overcome Covid-19 infection is considered a provisional treatment waiting for new antiviral drugs and vaccines. Plasma donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19 is the component of blood that contains antibodies, including those that specifically recognize SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies, transfused into patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, are believed to induce an antiviral effect by suppressing the viral infection, complementing the patient’s own immune responses. However, protection against covid-19 has not yet been directly related to circulating antibody levels against SARS-CoV-2.

At the end of the study on May 1, 13% of the patients in the treatment group and 24% of the control group had died, and 72% and 67% had been discharged alive, respectively.

Nicole Bouvier and her team at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City selected 39 patients admitted to their center between March 24 and April 8, 2020, to receive a hyperimmune plasma transfusion.

Two-thirds of the patients were men and one-third women, with a mean age of 55 years. The patients tended to be obese, but overall they had a few other pre-existing conditions. On the day of the transfusion, 87% of patients required supplemental oxygen through a non-invasive device, and 10% required assisted ventilation.

The control group consisted of COVID-19 patients admitted for the same period of time with a history of infection, symptoms, and pre-existing conditions similar to those in the treatment group.

Fourteen days after the transfusion, 18% of the treatment group required more oxygen, while this figure was 28% in the control group. At the end of the study on May 1, 13% of the patients in the treatment group and 24% of the control group had died, and 72% and 67% had been discharged alive, respectively.

The authors conclude that this study provides evidence that hyperimmune plasma transfusion can be an effective treatment for covid-19, but a larger number of patients and randomized trials are needed to definitively determine the efficacy of this therapy.

Design by NewsLax