Whatever happened to convalescent plasma to treat Covid-19? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:04 — 1.5MB)
Early on in the pandemic plasma collected from people who’d had Covid-19 and survived, so called convalescent plasma, was used to treat others, with mixed success. Now that new variants have emerged that can escape antibodies stimulated by vaccines and most monoclonals aren’t useful, Arturo Casadevall, a convalescent plasma expert at Johns Hopkins, says the treatment is being used again.
Casadevall: it’s now very clear that immunosuppressed individuals are not clearing this. it becomes chronic. It interferes with the rest of their therapy, and then the monoclonals are not there, Paxlovid has a lot of drug drug interactions, so then plasma finds a role. Plasma is being used today at Hopkins and Mayo largely as replacement therapy. Because people with B cell defects don’t make antibody and they are being treated with this, and the results are good, I mean people clear the infection when they are given plasma. :31
Casadevall says the plasma requires intravenous administration. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.