Researchers will administer blood plasma with antibodies against the coronavirus in it to hundreds of people who have been ill for less than a week and have not yet been in hospital. The study focuses specifically on the elderly and people over 50 who belong to a risk group. For example, the researchers want to find out whether plasma from people who have already gone through Covid-19 can help others to recover. The hope is that it will limit the number of hospital admissions.
The research, which started on Monday, is a collaboration between the Sanquin blood bank, the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Erasmus MC. They are looking for nearly seven hundred participants.
In an earlier study with blood plasma, corona patients who had already been admitted to the hospital were given plasma with antibodies. The results were disappointing. “At that time, they usually already produce antibodies themselves, which probably makes it less useful to administer plasma with antibodies,” Erasmus MC summarizes again.
Internist-infectiologist Bart Rijnders of the university hospital in Rotterdam calls the research design unique. “There are few studies worldwide in patients who have Covid-19 but have not been hospitalized.” The researchers will recruit participants through GPs and GGDs, among others. They also accept patients who self-register. People who have contracted the virus can check whether they are eligible for participation on two websites: www.coronaplasmastudie.nl and www.cov-early.nl.
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