02/22: Sharing the Love: Convalescent plasma could reduce Covid severity in older patients

Treatment of Covid at early stages of infection could reduce the risk of life-threatening disease progression, but scientists are still struggling to identify and validate any such treatments. A promising possibility — one that has proved successful for other diseases — is to inject recently-infected Covid patients with blood plasma from recovered patients who have produced antibodies against the SARS-Cov-2 virus. A recent study tested the effectiveness of plasma therapy to reduce disease progression in a cohort of 160 elderly patients across Argentina. The researchers found that compared to the placebo control group of the randomized double-blind trial, fewer members of the treatment group developed severe or life-threatening respiratory disease. The treatment group also had a slower average rate of disease progression. Meanwhile, the researchers detected no negative effects of the plasma treatment. These results suggest that for older patients within 72 hours of Covid infection, treatment with convalescent plasma sufficiently high in antibodies could decrease the risks of life-threatening illness.