Discussion on treatment of severe cases of COVID-19 with Convalescent Plasma antibodies-by Harold Gunatillake

Discussion on treatment of severe cases of COVID-19 with Convalescent Plasma antibodies-by Harold Gunatillake

Dr. Harold Gunethilake

Antibody cocktails

“Antibody cocktails, and antiviral drugs show promising results until the vaccine is ready early next year”.

Let me explain briefly what your Immune system means-
One will have a built in-born-immune system called Innate system, and an adaptive immunity called passive system.
You are born with your innate active immune system to prevent your body from foreign threats, like threats from bacteria, viruses, and other protein containing living or non-living microscopic bodies.
Such immune protection is found in your skin oils, stomach acids, enzymes found in tears, mucus and cough reflexes, and sneezing. In addition, there are chemicals called interferon and interleukin 1.
In adaptive or acquired immune system, the threat must be recognized by your body and create antibodies or call them soldiers specifically to attack that threatening foreign body, mainly composed of protein material.
The body when it produces those antibody soldiers, they will remain in your body for life, and fight future responses to the same germ more efficiently.

This is how you get life immunity to a specific disease. For example, if you get chicken pox and recover, you have life immunity for chicken pox, because a subsequent contamination will not produce the disease because you have the lifelong immune antibodies from the first infection.
Such soldiers or active antibodies are produced in your lymphatic systems found as a network in all parts of your body like in your bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and the lymph nodes.
Today, the discussion is to find out whether an antibody cocktail, obtaining the antibodies from the serum of a person who has already contracted the disease, can help fresh cases of the COVID-19.
When you are naturally infected with COVID-19, the body generates Y shaped molecules called antibodies that will hang onto the virus and cause destruction of the virus and also hinder its ability to infect healthy cells of the recipient.
So, such antibodies can be drawn from recovered COVID-19 patients and injected into sick patients contracted the COVID-19 to bolster their immune systems against the virus.
This method of treatment is called ‘Convalescent plasma therapy’.

The problem here is that antibody plasma donated from different people will have different mixtures of antibodies.
For instance, some antibodies directly prevent the virus from entering cells in the first place — so-called neutralizing antibodies — while others may not prevent infection, but instead direct other immune molecules to destroy infected cells.
To avoid this limitation several drug developers have turned to monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies target specific pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, and then mass-produced in a lab.
One such monoclonal antibody is called REGENERON-COV2 which contains two antibodies that latch onto and help to neutralize the coronavirus, hampering its ability to infect healthy cells. It is called Regenerol antibodies, as it was found by Regeneron scientists.
“We are running simultaneous adaptive trials in order to move as quickly as possible to provide a potential solution to prevent and treat COVID-19 infections, even in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic,” Dr. George Yancopoulos, Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, said in the statement.
In addition to Regeneron, the pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly and AbCellera are currently evaluating antibody treatments against COVID-19 in human trials, CNN reported.
Until the vaccine is ready early next year, these neutralizing antibodies may be the solution to provide passive immunity to the advanced cases to prevent death from the COVID-19 infection.

Meanwhile, in Japan trials, Flu drug shows promise in treating COVID-19
The Guardian reported that antiviral drug, called Favipiravir or Avigan, showed positive outcomes in clinical trials involving 340 individuals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, said Zhang Xinmin, of China’s science and technology ministry,

To date, there is no approved or known drug to treat SARS-CoV-2. However, antiviral drugs developed to treat other illnesses are being tested for their use in treating the coronavirus. For instance, Remdesivir was developed to treat Ebola but it has shown promise in treating monkeys infected with another coronavirus, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS); that drug is currently being tested in China and the U.S., according to NBC News.
Until a vaccine is developed to treat all cases of COVID-19, passive immunity rendered by ‘Convalescent plasma therapy’ for the late stages of the virus infection, seems to be the solution.
Hope you liked this article.
Stay safe and Goodbye for now.


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