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Convalescent plasma therapy

Topics Covered: Biotech related issues.

Convalescent plasma therapy

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key features and overview of the therapy, its significance.

Context: As the proportion of patients infected with COVID-19 continues to rise in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is facilitating access to COVID-19 convalescent plasma for use in patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.

Why was this necessary?

While clinical trials are underway to evaluate the safety and efficacy of administering convalescent plasma to patients with COVID-19, the FDA is granting clinicians permission for use of investigational convalescent plasma under single-patient emergency Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs), since no known cure exists and a vaccine is more than 1 year away from becoming available.

What is Convalescent plasma therapy? How it works?

It seeks to make use of the antibodies developed in the recovered patient against the coronavirus.

The whole blood or plasma from such people is taken, and the plasma is then injected in critically ill patients so that the antibodies are transferred and boost their fight against the virus.

WHO guidelines in this regard:

WHO guidelines in 2014 mandate a donor’s permission before extracting plasma. Plasma from only recovered patients must be taken, and donation must be done from people not infected with HIV, hepatitis, syphilis, or any infectious disease. If whole blood is collected, the plasma is separated by sedimentation or centrifugation, then injected in the patient. If plasma needs to be collected again from the same person, it must be done after 12 weeks of the first donation for males and 16 weeks for females, the WHO guidelines state.

Sources: Indian Express.