Uses antibody-rich blood plasma from people who have recovered from an illness such as COVID-19, to help others who have been newly infected by the virus that causes it.
People who over time recover from a severe illness (e.g. COVID-19) tend to develop high levels of antibodies in their blood which helped their body fight the infection. These antibodies can now protect them against future infection from the same pathogen (e.g SARS-CoV-2). The theory is that donated antibody-rich plasma, given intravenously to a newly infected patient will help them fight the virus.
Clinical trials on antibody therapy for COVID-19 are ongoing and incomplete. However, the regulatory authorities in some countries have given emergency use authorisation for newly infected patients to get the therapy. The US Food and Drug Administration has given permission for its use on compassionate grounds. British hospitals are offering COVID-19 patients the therapy and those who have recovered are being urged to donate their blood plasma, which can be frozen until required.
Antibody therapy is not a new technology. In 1901, Emil Adolph von Bering was awarded the Nobel prize in medicine for his work on serum therapy, an early precursor to today’s antibody treatment.
Immune System Treatment