Coronavirus treatment with plasma therapy on the way! Apart from the current treatment from drugs, India is readying itself to start convalescent plasma therapy to treat the novel Coronavirus infection.
Coronavirus treatment with plasma therapy on the way! Apart from the current treatment from drugs, India is readying itself to start convalescent plasma therapy to treat the novel Coronavirus infection. This therapy has been used multiple times before to treat several diseases like Ebola. The move came at a time when the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking at multiple trials (which India is a part of) for COVID-19.
What exactly do we mean by convalescent plasma therapy? It is a technique to jumpstart the immune system of a person, where plasma of a person who has recovered from the disease is infused with the blood of an infected person. In the case of the Coronavirus, under the therapy, the plasma of the person who has recovered from COVID-19 will be mixed with the blood of an active case. It is to note that plasma is a fluid where blood cells float. When a person is recovered from an infection, some antibodies in the blood are formed for that infection. This when injected in another’s body creates some kind of passive immunity and helps fight the infection.
According to a report by the IE, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is working on a protocol with which the blood plasma of a recovered person will be injected in the blood of others. However, the report said, the process will be done as a clinical trial, that too on patients who are in a critical condition or on a ventilator. It added that ICMR is in the final stages for the protocols and will be needing approval from India’s drug controller general. The treatment has been successful in a few cases outside India.
Meanwhile, Kerala is the first state in India, which has sought approval from the ICMR for plasma therapy exploration in the state. A doctor from Kerala has also conveyed the government that a COVID-19 recovered patient is ready to be a part of this trial. However, the transfusion process is not as easy as it seems. A separation of plasma from blood is required with the help of different machines and late transfusion, the report said adding that the kit which is required to check the antibody levels in the person is not available in India and is imported from Germany.