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Best Plasma Donors are Severe COVID-19 Patients

In the previous pandemics, convalescent plasma had been used successfully. Several clinical trials for using convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19 are ongoing. Doctors until now haven’t had guidance for selecting COVID-19 survivors who are the likeliest to have a strong antibody response. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have revealed that age, sex, and severity of the disease may be useful in identifying which COVID-19 survivors have high levels of antibodies. Their findings suggest that older males who have recovered from COVID-19 after being hospitalized are the best candidates for donating plasma.

According to their research, the severity of the disease, age, and sex should be used to guide the selection of donors for convalescent plasma as these were significant patients characteristics that not only predicted the number of antibodies but also their quality. They tested 126 COVID-19 survivors. The tests included plasma’s ability in cell cultures to neutralize cell-to-cell infection with SARS-CoV-2, as well as commercial tests for levels of antibodies to spike protein. They found that three factors were associated with stronger antibody response: being male, being older, and sick enough with COVID-19 to get hospitalized.

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