PLASMA THERAPY FOR COVID-19

Plasma is the often forgotten part of blood. White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets are important to body function. But plasma also plays a key role. This fluid carries the blood components throughout the body.

India COVID updates

Active  cases:- 20835

Cured:- 6184

Death:- 872

States with max number of cases in India till now:-

1) Maharashtra:- 7628

2) Gujrat:- 3071

3) Delhi:- 2625

4) MP:- 2096

5) Rajasthan:-  2083

What is plasma and what are platelets?

Plasma is the liquid portion of whole blood. It is composed largely of water and proteins, and it provides a medium for red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets to circulate through the body. Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are blood cells that cause blood clots and other necessary growth healing functions.

Platelet activation plays a key role in the body’s natural healing process.

What is Antibody?

Glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells also known immunoglobulin, it is Y shaped protein part of the immune system (IS). The antibody recognizes a unique molecule of the pathogen (virus, bacteria). The antibody attaches to the unique molecule and activates another part of IS to attack the foreign antigen (Ag). Antibodies are secreted by B-cells of the immune system. Production of Ab is the main function of humoral immunity. Consist of 4 polypeptides 2 heavy and light chains, in variable & constant region. Its structure also contain fab (fragment antigen binding)  & FC (fragment crystallizable) region.

 What is Plasma?

Plasma is part of blood. When we centrifuge blood clearly 3 layers are observed. 1st layer contains a yellowish alkaline fluid called plasma. Followed by WBC & platelets & then RBC. Plasma makes up about 55% of the total blood volume. Plasma contain 90-92% water & 8-10% suspended & dissolved substances. Plasma proteins (serum albumin. Globulin, herein, prothrombin, fibrinogen) & nitrogenous wastes (urea & uric acid ) are present in the blood.

What is convalescent?

A person recovered or recovering from illness or any medical treatment is called convalescent.

About Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT)

When people get sick with bacteria or virus their body produce Antibodies to fight specifically that antigen which causes illness.

When the attack by pathogen our body produces Ab. If the body produces sufficient Ab we can recover from the illness easily. This recovered immunity can be transfer to a sick person. As we know there is no COVID vaccine yet, so this therapy can be the best source.

This method has also been used in the past in 1918 for a flu epidemic, the outbreak of Ebola as well as other coronaviruses like SARS, MERS (middle east respiratory syndrome), H1N1, H5N1, etc.

The study conducted:-

A study published  JAMA on 27 march 2020 conducted in Shenzhen china’s conclusion was this preliminary uncontrolled case series of  5 critically ill patients with Covid-19 & ARDS administration of CP containing neutralizing Ab shown improvement in their clinical status.

USA 6 April 2020 10 severe patients were enrolled. They were given 200ml of one dose of CP which was derived from recently recovered donors. They neutralize Ab titers above 1:640. The clinical symptoms were significantly improved along with increasing oxyhemoglobin saturation within 3 days. They found that the viral load was undetectable after transfusion in seven patients. No adverse effect was observed. The study shows CP therapy was well tolerated & could potentially improve the clinical outcomes.

Who can be the plasma donor?

  1. The person with complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to the donation of plasma.
  2. Prior diagnosis of Covid-19.
  3. Negative PCR result for Covid-19.

Is this the cure for COVID 19?

No, it is not a cure, it is just a stop-gap measure until better treatment or vaccine is available. Only it will be used for those people who are not in critical condition.

News update:-

India 1st COVID-19 patient treated with CPT recovers. The 40-year-old man from Delhi was tested positive on 4th April for COVID-19.  He developed pneumonia with type 1 respiratory failure. He was put into ventilator support on 8th April. His family came forward to arrange a donor for plasma extraction. As per the criteria of the donor is again went for the test for COVID-19  result was negative. The donor fits under all the standard rule out Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C  & HIV. He was treated on the night of 14th April. After receiving treatment he sowed progressive improvement & 4th day was off the ventilator. I started taking oral feed within 24 hours of being off the ventilator.

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