Convalescent plasma for COVID-19 reduces hospitalizations: preprint
JTwo weeks ago, citing the results of several trials, the World Health Organization recommended against using plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for the disease. Now, based on a new study in patients treated relatively early in their illness, a research team has asked the agency to reconsider its recommendation. According to the new results, published today (21 December) in medRxiv and not yet peer-reviewed, treating patients with what one co-author calls “high-octane plasma” within eight days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms resulted in a reduction in 54% of hospitalizations compared to a control group.
“We believe this could be a useful tool in the toolbox for treating this very serious disease,” co-author Kelly Gebo, an infectious disease researcher at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in an online post. . press conference on the results.
See “NIH Halts Outpatient COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Trial”
The study, conducted between June 2020 and October 2021, included 1,181 patients, each of whom was randomly assigned to receive either so-called high-titer plasma – which had been verified to be contained a high concentration of antibodies against COVID-19 – a plasma control. The study took place at 24 sites across the United States and, due to its schedule, most participants were unvaccinated. The authors found that 6.3% of participants in the control group and 2.9% of those who received the high-titer plasma required hospitalization for COVID-19 within 28 days of treatment.
At the press conference, the researchers suggested that one of the keys to their promising results was treating patients early, unlike most convalescent plasma studies for COVID-19, which have focused on people. hospitalized and generally found little evidence of benefit in disease progression. or survival. The authors suggested that the WHO and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which authorized the use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 only for hospitalized patients, should change their policies based on the new findings to allow the use of treatment on an outpatient basis during the current surge in infections.
See “Indian study shows no survival benefit of plasma in COVID-19”
According to The Washington Post, a group of scientists asked the FDA to allow the use of convalescent plasma in outpatients, based in part on the trial results. Liise-anne Pirofski, an immunology researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who was not involved in the study but signed the letter to the FDA, told the journal that such expansion is “essential” to fight Omicron – “a matter of national interest”. Safety.” However, infectious disease researcher Jeanne Marrazzo of the University of Alabama at Birmingham expresses caution about the results “following previous studies that did not show benefit. The practicalities of his use as generalized therapy are also daunting,” she told the To post.