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Convalescent Plasma Therapy: An Effective Therapeutic Option to Treat COVID-19? A Narrative Review

Authors Ray I, Sánchez DF, Robert CA, Robert MP

Received 3 July 2020

Accepted for publication 15 September 2020

Published 23 October 2020 Volume 2020:8 Pages 7—21


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Cees Th. Smit Sibinga

Video abstract presented by Ishita Ray.

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Ishita Ray,1 Diana Fiorela Sánchez,2 Chris Andrea Robert,3 Mary Phyllis Robert4

1Department of Internal Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University, Lima, Peru; 3Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Sunrise Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India; 4Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, LLH Hospital, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence: Ishita Ray
Madan Mahal Hospital, Prem Nagar, Nagpur Road, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh 482001, India
Tel +918959393344
Email [email protected]

Abstract: December 2019 marked the emergence of a new deadly strain of the coronavirus family which unleashed an unprecedented pandemic named the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak (COVID-19) upending lives all over the world. We still do not have drugs or vaccines that specifically target this vile virus. Hence, the need to find alternative therapeutic options is to optimize recovery and reduce the viral load due to COVID-19. Convalescent plasma (CP) therapy is a potential therapeutic option being explored all over the world. In this study, we reviewed all relevant publications that mentioned the use of plasma therapy. Out of the 61 articles, eight publications specifically explored CP therapy in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patients and were studied in detail during this review. The plasma collected from convalescent COVID-19 patients contains neutralising antibodies which show potential benefit in reducing viral load and accelerating viral clearance with negative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test reports. The concentration of neutralising antibodies also increased post CP therapy. Improvement in clinical symptoms like fever, cough and dyspnoea was also reported. Radiological findings before and after CP therapy showed reduced ground glass opacities and resorption of pneumonia in several SARS-CoV-2 patients. Laboratory parameters also showed improvement as lymphocyte counts increased, and markers of inflammation like C-reactive protein (CRP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) reduced after plasma therapy. There were no adverse reactions reported in any of the studies reviewed. However, potential adverse reactions cannot be ruled out like circulatory overload and anaphylaxis. Lack of large-scale clinical trials on CP therapy is a major shortcoming before this therapeutic modality starts being extensively used.

Keywords: convalescent plasma, sars-cov-2, coronavirus outbreak, COVID − 19, convalescent plasma therapy, neutralizing antibodies, plasma therapy

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