10/25 News Flash 11: Patients who had more severe COVID-19 may be the best donors for convalescent plasma therapy

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that age, sex, and severity of disease can predict antibody levels and quality in COVID-19 survivors. Survivors can help current COVID-19 patients by donating plasma, which is the part of the blood that contains antibodies. Doctors can use plasma infusions to help treat COVID-19 patients, and these infusions could even be used as a possible prevention method.

The study found that older males who were hospitalized for COVID-19 are strong candidates for plasma donations. Survivors who were hospitalized were most likely to have high levels of good-quality antibodies, which suggests that those who had the worst symptoms have the best antibody responses. Older age and being male were also qualities associated with having better antibody responses, but these factors weren’t as significant as disease severity.

These results will be important in guiding doctors to the COVID-19 survivors that are most likely to have life-saving antibodies in their blood.