Coronavirus | ICMR warns against indiscriminate use of convalescent plasma therapy

Issues specific criteria for potential donors and recipients

Updated - November 18, 2020 11:16 pm IST

Published - November 18, 2020 03:15 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A man who has recovered from COVID-19 donates his plasma at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) in Chennai.

A man who has recovered from COVID-19 donates his plasma at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) in Chennai.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned against indiscriminate use of convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) for treating COVID-19. On Wednesday, it released report of an open-label phase II multicentre randomised controlled trial (PLACID trial) conducted 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.’’


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, the ICMR said.

It stated that CPT could be used with specific criteria, including that a potential donor, be 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 by appropriate test.

PLACID is the world’s largest pragmatic trial on CPT conducted in 464 moderately ill-confirmed affected adults in a real-world setting, wherein no benefit of use of CPT could be established , the ICMR said.

A release issued by the Council noted that similar studies conducted in China and Netherlands have also documented no significant benefit of CPT in improving the clinical outcomes of hospitalised patients.

CPT involves the use of plasma from people who have recovered from the infection to aid the immune response of those still fighting it.


Three-fourth of recoveries from 10 States

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.

“Delhi reported 6,396 cases in the last 24 hours, Kerala 5,792 while West Bengal reported 3,654 new cases. 78.9% of the 474 case fatalities that have been reported in the past 24 hours are from ten States/UTs with Delhi (99), Maharashtra (68) and West Bengal (52) reporting the maximum,’’ said the release.

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