Profile Url: adolfo-firpo-betancourt
Researcher at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Background Since December 2019, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global pandemic, causing mass morbidity and mortality. Prior studies in other respiratory infections suggest that convalescent plasma transfusion may offer benefit to some patients. Here, the outcomes of thirty-nine hospitalized patients with severe to life-threatening COVID-19 who received convalescent plasma transfusion were compared against a cohort of retrospectively matched controls. Methods Plasma recipients were selected based on supplemental oxygen needs at the time of enrollment and the time elapsed since the onset of symptoms. Recipients were transfused with convalescent plasma from donors with a SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2) anti-spike antibody titer of [≥]1:320 dilution. Matched control patients were retrospectively identified within the electronic health record database. Supplemental oxygen requirements and survival were compared between plasma recipients and controls. Results Convalescent plasma recipients were more likely than control patients to remain the same or have improvements in their supplemental oxygen requirements by post-transfusion day 14, with an odds ratio of 0.86 (95% CI: 0.75~0.98; p=0.028). Plasma recipients also demonstrated improved survival, compared to control patients (log-rank test: p=0.039). In a covariates-adjusted Cox model, convalescent plasma transfusion improved survival for non-intubated patients (hazard ratio 0.19 (95% CI: 0.05 ~0.72); p=0.015), but not for intubated patients (1.24 (0.33~4.67); p=0.752). Conclusions Convalescent plasma transfusion is a potentially efficacious treatment option for patients hospitalized with COVID-19; however, these data suggest that non-intubated patients may benefit more than those requiring mechanical ventilation.
Passive transfer of antibodies from COVID-19 convalescent patients is being used as an experimental treatment for eligible patients with SARS-CoV-2 infections. The United States Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) guidelines for convalescent plasma recommends target antibody titers of 160. We evaluated SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in sera from recovered COVID-19 patients using plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT) at low (PRNT50) and high (PRNT90) stringency thresholds. We found that neutralizing activity increased with time post symptom onset (PSO), reaching a peak at 31-35 days PSO. At this point, the number of sera having neutralizing titers of at least 160 was ~93% (PRNT50) and ~54% (PRNT90). Sera with high SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels ([≥]960 ELISA titers) showed maximal activity, but not all high titer sera contained neutralizing antibody at FDA recommended levels, particularly at high stringency. These results underscore the value of serum characterization for neutralization activity.