Canadian doctors have announced the beginning of an experiment to use plasma from people who have had a coronavirus infection (COVID-19) to treat patients with severe forms of this disease. The project already involves 50 medical centers in different cities of Canada, the press service of the University of Montreal writes.
“The advantage of passive immunization is that we don’t need to develop a COVID-19 drug in the lab — the donor bodies do this work for us. Now we are faced with the problem of quickly creating the infrastructure for plasma collection and conducting parallel clinical trials in different medical centers,” said the Project Manager at the University of Montreal.
Since the first days after the outbreak of coronavirus infection in Wuhan, China, doctors have been calculating whether it is possible to use antibodies from the blood plasma of cured people to suppress infection in the body of seriously ill carriers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The first experiments of this kind were successfully conducted by Chinese doctors in mid-February this year.
Recently, such experiments have been conducted in other countries of the world, including France, Turkey, the United States, and Russia. Canadian doctors have announced the start of the largest experiment of its kind, which will involve specialists from 16 hospitals in Quebec, as well as 34 medical centers in other cities and provinces of Canada. Over the past month, scientists have developed plans to create a centralized infrastructure that will allow them to quickly and efficiently collect plasma samples, test their quality, and use them to treat patients.
As the researchers hope, these experiments will confirm that a similar method of fighting the virus, which was used, in particular, more than a century ago during the Spanish flu epidemic, will be effective in the fight against coronavirus infection.