In a new paper, infectious disease experts explainhow viral antibodies, contained in the blood serumof patients who have already recovered from the newcoronavirus, could then be injected into other people,offering them short-term protection.
This long-established medical remedy – called passive antibody therapy – dates back tothe late 19th century, and was widely used during the 20th century to help stem outbreaks ofmeasles, polio, mumps, and influenza.
Much as it aided us before, it could be a crucial and practical tool now in the fight againstCOVID–19, a team from Johns Hopkins University argues in the new study, adding thatantibody therapies can also be made available with urgency.
"Deployment of this option requires no research or development," says immunologist ArturoCasadevall.
"It could be deployed within a couple of weeks since it relies on standard blood-bankingpractices."
For the treatment to work, recovered coronavirus patients would need to donate their bloodafter recovering from COVID–19 and while still convalescing from the disease. During thisphase, the blood serum would contain high amounts of natural antibodies produced to combatthe SARS-CoV–2 virus.