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Plasma of 16% of COVID-19 patients effective when transfused, says expert

Joint studies of Russian and German researchers have demonstrated that plasma of only 16% of donors who had been infected with the coronavirus possesses neutralizing antibodies which may alleviate the course of the coronavirus infection if transfused to patients with this diagnosis, Deputy Research Director of St. Petersburg’s Scientific Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology Evgeny Sokolovich told a press conference at TASS on Thursday.

“There is a certain form of neutralizing antibodies which may help either to alleviate the course of the disease or to cure it completely. It turned out that out of those donors that we managed to check, at two laboratories where the determination of those neutralizing antibodies was conducted, one being a German laboratory in Dresden and the other belonging to the Influenza Institute, only 16% of patients have the titer of neutralizing antibodies which will allow to overcome, to alleviate the course of this illness,” he said. The expert added that the final results of the study are expected by the end of this year.

He also explained that for this study a consortium was created which included the St. Petersburg State University, the Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza, the Scientific Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology, the St. Petersburg blood bank, several St. Petersburg hospitals and German institutions.

It is believed that COVREC donor blood plasma transfusion (plasma with the antibodies to the novel coronavirus infection) is one of the most effective methods of treating the disease caused by the coronavirus in the absence of a vaccine. This method is widely used abroad: in the US, Germany, China and other countries. However, on September 9, it was reported that the medRxiv electronic scientific library had published preliminary results of clinical trials of plasma transfusion of the former coronavirus patients which demonstrated that the procedure on average barely influenced the severity and the duration of the disease.

Header: MOSCOW, RUSSIA – MAY 26, 2020: Blood donation equipment is seen as an employee of the department of labour and social protection of Moscow’s South-Western Administrative District donates blood. Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

Source: TASS