The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned against indiscriminate use of convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) for treating COVID-19 patients.
ICMR said in a press release on November 17 that it conducted an open-label phase II multicentre randomised controlled trial (PLACID trial) across 39 public and private hospitals on the use of CPT in management of cases with moderate infection. The report concluded that the therapy "did not lead to a reduction in progression to severe COVID or all-cause mortality in the group that received CPT as compared to the group that did not receive CPT.''
The top medical body said the benefits of CPT in improving the clinical outcomes, reducing severity of disease, duration of hospitalisation and mortality in patients were dependent on the concentration of specific antibodies in convalescent plasma that could neutralise the effects of SARS-CoV-2.
It stated that CPT could be used with specific criteria, including that a potential donor, be it men, or women who had never been pregnant, could give plasma after 14 days of symptom resolution (testing negative is not necessary). A potential recipient should be in the early stage of COVID-19 (3-7 days from the onset of symptoms, but not later than 10 days) and should have no IgG antibody against COVID-19.
The study also noted that similar studies conducted in China and Netherlands have also documented no significant benefit of CPT in improving the clinical outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) or passive immunotherapy has been tried in the past for treatment of viral infections like H1N1, Ebola and SARS-CoV-1 etc. Benefits of CPT in improving the clinical outcomes, reducing severity of disease, duration of hospitalisation and mortality in COVID-19 patients are dependent on the concentration of specific antibodies in convalescent plasma that could neutralise the effects of SARS-CoV-2.
Meanwhile, according to data released by the Health Ministry, on Wednesday, India reported 44,739 recoveries in the last 24 hours against 38,617 newly detected cases. 74.98% of the new recovered cases are contributed by 10 states/UTs, with Kerala, Maharashtra and Delhi reporting maximum recoveries, noted the release.