Plasma therapy: Helpful in the treatment of COVID-19?:-Several clinical trials are underway to combat the COVID-19 epidemic and one is Plasma Therapy or Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT).
After all, what is plasma therapy, how does it work, its history, and can it be helpful in the treatment of COVID-19? Let us know through this article.
- No exact treatment has yet been discovered for COVID-19.
- But progress has also been reported in the development of virus-neutralizing vaccines, antibodies to major antigens, monoclonal and RNA-based vaccines. Convulsant plasma therapy or plasma therapy has also been started in some places.
- According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), plasma therapy has already been used on patients in several outbreaks such as SARS-CoV, H1N1, and MERS-CoV. Since COVID-19 is similar to the SARS-CoV, so plasma therapy may be effective and safe.
- The FDA also stated that more clinical trials are needed to prove plasma therapy to be the right treatment.
Let us now know about Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) or plasma therapy?
- When pathogens attack our body, our immune system starts working and extracts proteins to fight infection. These proteins are known as antibodies.
- If the infected person produces a sufficient amount of protein, it will recover by the antibody itself.
- Plasma therapy, the blood of recovering persons from COVID-19, which is rich in antibodies, is used to treat other severely ill people..
- Under this, the plasma of the cured people is transfused from the patients. In this therapy, ATBody is used, which is formed in the body against any virus or bacteria.
- This antibody COVID-19 is removed from the cured patient’s body and put into the sick body.
- When the effect of antibodies on the patient, the virus starts to weaken. After this, the chances of recovery of the patient increases.
What is plasma
- The liquid part of the blood is plasma. It is made up of water and protein.
- That provides a medium for circulating red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets through the body. It also contains important components of immunity known as antibodies.
What is antibody?
- The antibody is a protein produced in our bodies. It helps in fighting against external harmful elements called antigens.
- Immune systems make antibodies when antigens enter the body.
- Antibodies bind to antigens and bind to antigens and inactivate them.
- Let me tell you here that a healthy person has thousands of antibodies in his body.
When was first conjunct plasma therapy or plasma therapy used?
- The concept dates back more than a century when Emil von Behring, a German physiologist, found in 1890 that when he took serum from a diphtheria-infected rabbit, it was effective in preventing infection caused by diphtheria.
- In the past, the same types of treatments have been used during several outbreaks, including the Spanish flu pandemic 1918, diphtheria outbreak 1920, etc.
- Convalescent plasma therapy or plasma therapy was less effective at the time and had substantial side effects.
This therapy was tried for other coronavirus diseases such as Ebola virus, SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012.
This method was used with improved extraction and screening techniques and appeared to be safer and more effective than before.
How does convalescent plasma therapy or plasma therapy work?
- In this technique, blood is extracted from a patient who is cured with COVID-19.
- The serum is then separated and tested for antibodies that neutralize the virus.
- Serum containing antibodies is given to a patient with COVID-19, with severe symptoms.
According to the Houston Methodologist, the process of donating plasma takes about an hour, such as during blood donation. It is said that plasma donors are attached to a small device that removes plasma, as well as returning red blood cells to their body.
During regular blood donation, donors have to wait for red blood cells in between when donating. In the case of plasma, it can be donated repeatedly, ie twice a week.
Antibody-containing plasma is taken from the patients cured with COVID-19 and then transported in the bloodstream to other infected coronavirus patients.
When the body is exposed to external pathogens such as bacteria or germs, it automatically initiates a defense mechanism and starts releasing antibodies.
According to the researchers, plasma therapy will not be so simple. In the case of COVID-19, there is a new epidemic where most of the patients are aged and already suffering from other diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes etc., so how effective this therapy will be will be known only after research.
Various tests and studies related to Convalescent plasma therapy and plasma therapy
In a study in China in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, the therapy was found to be effective at small sample sizes. In the study, a test was given in which 10 adult COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms were given a dose of 200 ml.
Patients showed significant improvement and in seven patients the virus disappeared without any serious side effects. In this therapy, the sick receives only temporary passive immunisation. It lasts mainly for less than a week as long as the injected antibodies remain in the bloodstream.
In Houston, too, these tests were performed and found that three significantly ill COVID-19 patients also showed signs of recovery from concomitant plasma therapy.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), prior experience with respiratory viruses and data from China reveal that plasma therapy has the potential to reduce the severity or the disease caused by COVID-19 .
Convalescent plasma therapy or plasma therapy is also being used as a trial in India. Kerala is the first state in the country to try this medicine.
Many countries including China, South Korea, USA and UK have also used this medical treatment and the trial is going on. Some leading medical journals say that initial tests are encouraging. There is no doubt that the whole world is waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic vaccine, and plasma therapy may be helpful in the treatment.
You may also read following articles,