Antibodies in blood plasma are tested as treatment against Covid-19

Mona Landin-Olsson.
Could blood plasma from patients recovered from Covid-19 be used to treat those still ill with the disease? This is the subject for a randomised study conducted at Skåne University Hospital, in collaboration with Lund University and the Medical Service administration in Region Skåne.

A person ill from Covid-19 develops antibodies that kill the cells that are infected with the virus. The antibodies remain in the blood system even after the person has recovered. The new study will investigate the results of using the antibodies from recovered patients, to treat severely ill patients.

In the randomised study, half of the patients will receive blood plasma as a supplement to standard therapy. The study includes 50 patients to be treated with plasma and 50 patients in a control group. Plasma will be given to patients so severely ill that they need oxygen therapy. Each patient will be treated on three occasions.

In addition to the 100 patients in the study, blood donations from 50 recovered patients are needed. The study has been approved by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority.

“There are case studies in which this type of treatment has worked well for individual patients, but so far there are no results from a randomised study with a control group and with so many patients”, says Mona Landin-Olsson, Consultant at Skåne University Hospital and Professor at Lund University.

The study will start as soon as possible. Recovered patients will leave blood at the Blood Centre in Region Skåne, which ensures the quality of the plasma and that it contains no infectious agents. Medical Service will also analyse the amount of antibodies in the blood plasma.