Audio Interview

Convalescent plasma therapy as a treatment for COVID-19

Published on June 15, 2020   15 min

Other Talks in the Series: Research and Clinical Interviews

Interviewer: Professor Manu Shankar-Hari, thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with us today, to discuss current efforts being deployed to test convalescent plasma therapy in COVID-19 patients. First of all, what is the concept of convalescent plasma therapy, and how does it work? Prof. Shankar-Hari: Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview. SARS-CoV-2, which is the aetiological agent for this COVID-19 disease, is a new RNA virus, none of us have any form of immunity against the virus because it's new. What happens when our immune system encounters such viruses is that they're considered danger signals, and the immune system then responds to these danger signals in a number of ways. One such response is to produce cells that are capable of generating specific proteins called immunoglobulins that give protection against the virus, these immunoglobulins are otherwise known as antibodies. When patients recover from an infection, they have antibodies in their blood, albeit at different concentrations. Convalescent plasma refers to antibodies from patients who have recovered, and this is a safe procedure. When patients recover from a COVID-19 illness, they have developed antibodies in their blood. Convalescent plasma refers to the collection of blood, or rather plasma, from patients who have recovered, this is a safe procedure like any other blood donation procedure.

Convalescent plasma therapy as a treatment for COVID-19

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