To order to show effectiveness, plasma therapy 'no silver bullet' against Covid-19 needs large-scale testing:
Convalescent plasma therapy is not a "silver cure" for coping with coronavirus, and only large-scale randomized studies will assess its efficacy as part of the clinical plan, top medical experts said Monday, even as some states are exploring utilizing therapy to treat seriously sick patients with Covid-19.
The treatment includes removing antibodies from a person's blood that has healed from Covid-19 and transfusing such antibodies to an infected individual with coronavirus to help kick-start the immune system to combat the infection.
Last week the Ministry of Health cautioned against its use, claiming the plasma treatment for treating patients with coronavirus is at an experimental stage and has the potential to trigger life-threatening complications.
Nevertheless, some state governments, including Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra, and Delhi, have shown a keen interest in the treatment of plasma therapy, and the Center has authorized few states to conduct plasma therapy on a small number of Covid-19.
Top medical experts believe that it can not be regarded as anything that will make a "huge improvement" in Covid-19 care, and only randomized clinical studies will show its efficacy as an significant therapeutic technique.
AIIMS management, Delhi, Randeep Guleria said that as far as Covid-19 is concerned, very few convalescent plasma therapy trials have been performed and that only in very few cases has it demonstrated any utility.
"It's only one aspect of the therapeutic plan. It helps boost the individual's own immunity by providing what we term passive immunity as the plasma antibodies enter the blood to seek to better combat the infection in the infected person. It's not something that can create a change drastically," Guleria informed PTI.
There's no research to say whether "it's a silver cure," that it'll make a drastic improvement, but it's part of the medical armamentarium that physicians have along with certain medications, said the senior pulmonologist.
ICMR has also called for a plan and has recruited a significant number of institutes for convalescent plasma therapy studies, he added.