Elucidating the pivotal role of convalescent plasma therapy in critically ill COVID-19 patients: A review

  • Seidu A. Richard | gbepoo@gmail.com 1Department of Medicine, Princefield University, Ho, Ghana.
  • Sylvanus Kampo Department of Anesthesia and Critical care, School of Medicine, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana., Ghana.
  • Maite Esquijarosa Hechavarria Department of Anesthesia and Critical care, School of Medicine, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho, Ghana., Ghana.


World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic in March 2020. Currently almost every country in the world has reported cases with moderate to high mortality rates. The European Union (EU), the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) are the severely affected countries. Nevertheless, the WHO is very much concern about countries with weak health systems. The clinical characteristics of COVID-19 varies extensively, ranging from asymptomatic infections to severe as well as critical pneumonia with high mortality rates in the elderly and patients with co-morbid medical illness. Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) has been successfully used in treating various viral disease outbreaks such as 1918 influenza pneumonia pandemic, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, Machupo virus, Junin virus, Lassa virus, Ebola etc. High-titer specific antibodies maybe capable of binding to Coronavirus- 19 (CoV-19) and neutralize the viral particles, inhibit entry to uninfected cells, and trigger potent effector mechanisms such as complement activation as well as phagocytosis. Therefore, in most countries with very weak health systems with no Intensive Care Units (ICUs) or trained ICU physicians, early initiation of CPT for severely COVID- 19 patients may be rewarding. Therefore, solidarity control trials on CPT for COVID- 19 patients involving large number of patients are urgently needed.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


1. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W, Li X, Yang B, Song J, et al. China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(8):727-33.
2. Gralinski LE, Menachery VD. Return of the Coronavirus: 2019-nCoV. Viruses. 2020;12(2):135.
3. Chen T, Wu D, Chen H, Yan W, Yang D, Chen G, et al. Clinical characteristics of 113 deceased patients with coronavirus disease 2019: retrospective study. BMJ. 2020;368.
4. Shen C, Wang Z, Zhao F, Yang Y, Li J, Yuan J, et al. Treatment of 5 Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19 With Convalescent Plasma. JAMA. 2020.
5. Tanne JH. Covid-19: FDA approves use of convalescent plasma to treat critically ill patients. British Medical Journal Publishing Group; 2020.
6. Luke TC, Kilbane EM, Jackson JL, Hoffman SL. Meta-analysis: convalescent blood products for Spanish influenza pneumonia: a future H5N1 treatment? Annals of internal medicine. 2006;145(8):599-609.
7. Stinebaugh BJ, Schloeder FX, Johnson KM, Mackenzie RB, Entwisle G, De Alba E. Bolivian hemorrhagic fever: a report of four cases. The American journal of medicine. 1966;40(2):217-30.
8. Enria DA, Briggiler AM, Sánchez Z. Treatment of Argentine hemorrhagic fever. Antiviral research. 2008;78(1):132-9.
9. Ruggiero H, Pérez FI, Milani H, Barri A, Val A, Maglio F, et al. Treatment of Argentine hemorrhagic fever with convalescent's plasma. 4433 cases. Presse medicale (Paris, France: 1983). 1986;15(45):2239-42.
10. Frame JD, Verbrugge GP, Gill R, Pinneo L. The use of Lassa fever convalescent plasma in Nigeria. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1984;78(3):319-24.
11. Soo Y, Cheng Y, Wong R, Hui D, Lee C, Tsang K, et al. Retrospective comparison of convalescent plasma with continuing high‐dose methylprednisolone treatment in SARS patients. Clinical microbiology and infection. 2004;10(7):676-8.
12. Burnouf T, Radosevich M. Treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome with convalescent plasma. Hong Kong Med J. 2003;9(4):309.
13. Wong V, Dai D, Wu A, Sung J. Treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome with convalescent plasma. HONG KONG MEDICAL JOURNAL. 2003;9(3):199-201.
14. Chen L, Xiong J, Bao L, Shi Y. Convalescent plasma as a potential therapy for COVID-19. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. 2020;20(4):398-400.
15. Cheng Y, Wong R, Soo Y, Wong W, Lee C, Ng M, et al. Use of convalescent plasma therapy in SARS patients in Hong Kong. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 2005;24(1):44-6.
16. Hung IF, To KK, Lee C-K, Lee K-L, Yan W-W, Chan K, et al. Hyperimmune IV immunoglobulin treatment: a multicenter double-blind randomized controlled trial for patients with severe 2009 influenza A (H1N1) infection. Chest. 2013;144(2):464-73.
17. WHO. Use of convalescent whole blood or plasma collected from patients recovered from Ebola virus disease for transfusion, as an empirical treatment during outbreaks: interim guidance for national health authorities and blood transfusion services. World Health Organization; 2014.
18. Arabi Y, Balkhy H, Hajeer AH, Bouchama A, Hayden FG, Al-Omari A, et al. Feasibility, safety, clinical, and laboratory effects of convalescent plasma therapy for patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection: a study protocol. Springerplus. 2015;4(1):1-8.
19. Cunningham AC, Goh HP, Koh D. Treatment of COVID-19: old tricks for new challenges. Springer; 2020.
20. Mair-Jenkins J, Saavedra-Campos M, Baillie JK, Cleary P, Khaw F-M, Lim WS, et al. The effectiveness of convalescent plasma and hyperimmune immunoglobulin for the treatment of severe acute respiratory infections of viral etiology: a systematic review and exploratory meta-analysis. The Journal of infectious diseases. 2015;211(1):80-90.
21. Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, Ren L, Zhao J, Hu Y, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The Lancet. 2020;395(10223):497-506.
22. Lai C-C, Shih T-P, Ko W-C, Tang H-J, Hsueh P-R. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and corona virus disease-2019 (COVID-19): the epidemic and the challenges. International journal of antimicrobial agents. 2020:105924.
23. Gao J, Tian Z, Yang X. Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies. Bioscience trends. 2020.
24. Luo H, Tang Q-l, Shang Y-x, Liang S-b, Yang M, Robinson N, et al. Can Chinese medicine be used for prevention of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? A review of historical classics, research evidence and current prevention programs. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2020:1-8.
25. Murthy S, Gomersall CD, Fowler RA. Care for critically ill patients with COVID-19. Jama. 2020.
26. Liu Y, Li J, Feng Y. Critical care response to a hospital outbreak of the 2019-nCoV infection in Shenzhen, China. BioMed Central; 2020.
27. Zhou B, Zhong N, Guan Y. Treatment with convalescent plasma for influenza A (H5N1) infection. New England Journal of Medicine. 2007;357(14):1450-1.
28. Hung IF, To KK, Lee C-K, Lee K-L, Chan K, Yan W-W, et al. Convalescent plasma treatment reduced mortality in patients with severe pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus infection. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2011;52(4):447-56.
29. Yeh K-M, Chiueh T-S, Siu L, Lin J-C, Chan PK, Peng M-Y, et al. Experience of using convalescent plasma for severe acute respiratory syndrome among healthcare workers in a Taiwan hospital. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2005;56(5):919-22.
30. Moja P, Organization WH. The selection and use of essential medicines: report of the WHO Expert Committee, 2017 (including the 20th WHO model list of essential medicines and the 6th WHO model list of essential medicines for children). 2017.
31. Wirtz VJ, Hogerzeil HV, Gray AL, Bigdeli M, de Joncheere CP, Ewen MA, et al. Essential medicines for universal health coverage. The Lancet. 2017;389(10067):403-76.
32. Organization WH. Selection of essential medicines at country level: using the WHO model list of essential medicines to update a national essential medicines list. 2020.
33. Long Q-X, Liu B-Z, Deng H-J, Wu G-C, Deng K, Chen Y-K, et al. Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients with COVID-19. Nature Medicine. 2020:1-4.
34. Vellingiri B, Jayaramayya K, Iyer M, Narayanasamy A, Govindasamy V, Giridharan B, et al. COVID-19: A promising cure for the global panic. Science of the Total Environment. 2020:138277.
35. Schoeman D, Fielding BC. Coronavirus envelope protein: current knowledge. Virology journal. 2019;16(1):69.
36. Walls AC, Park Y-J, Tortorici MA, Wall A, McGuire AT, Veesler D. Structure, function, and antigenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Cell. 2020.
37. Okba NM, Müller MA, Li W, Wang C, GeurtsvanKessel CH, Corman VM, et al. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2-Specific Antibody Responses in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patients. Emerging infectious diseases. 2020;26(7).
38. Wu F, Wang A, Liu M, Wang Q, Chen J, Xia S, et al. Neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in a COVID-19 recovered patient cohort and their implications. 2020.
39. Zhao J, Yuan Q, Wang H, Liu W, Liao X, Su Y, et al. Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients of novel coronavirus disease 2019. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2020.
40. Liu W, Liu L, Kou G, Zheng Y, Ding Y, Ni W, et al. Evaluation of Nucleocapsid and Spike Protein-based ELISAs for detecting antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Journal of clinical microbiology. 2020.
41. Che X-y, Qiu L-w, Pan Y-x, Wen K, Hao W, Zhang L-y, et al. Sensitive and specific monoclonal antibody-based capture enzyme immunoassay for detection of nucleocapsid antigen in sera from patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome. Journal of clinical microbiology. 2004;42(6):2629-35.
42. Chen S, Lu D, Zhang M, Che J, Yin Z, Zhang S, et al. Double-antigen sandwich ELISA for detection of antibodies to SARS-associated coronavirus in human serum. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 2005;24(8):549-53.
43. Guan M, Chen HY, Foo SY, Tan Y-J, Goh P-Y, Wee SH. Recombinant protein-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunochromatographic tests for detection of immunoglobulin G antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus in SARS patients. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2004;11(2):287-91.
44. Grifoni A, Sidney J, Zhang Y, Scheuermann RH, Peters B, Sette A. A sequence homology and bioinformatic approach can predict candidate targets for immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. Cell host & microbe. 2020.
45. Roback JD, Guarner J. Convalescent Plasma to Treat COVID-19: Possibilities and Challenges. JAMA.
46. Zeng Q-L, Yu Z-J, Gou J-J, Li G-M, Ma S-H, Zhang G-F, et al. Effect of Convalescent Plasma Therapy on Viral Shedding and Survival in COVID-19 Patients. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020.
47. Poh CM, Carissimo G, Bei W, Amrun SN, Lee CY-P, Chee RS-L, et al. Potent neutralizing antibodies in the sera of convalescent COVID-19 patients are directed against conserved linear epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. bioRxiv. 2020.
  • Abstract views: 403

  • PDF: 232
  • HTML: 0
How to Cite
Richard, S. A., Kampo, S., & Esquijarosa Hechavarria, M. (2020). Elucidating the pivotal role of convalescent plasma therapy in critically ill COVID-19 patients: A review. Hematology Reports, 12(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/hr.2020.8630