As deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to mount, desperation has driven physicians to try therapies backed by little or no evidence.
Perhaps the greatest excitement surrounds convalescent plasma, a treatment more than a century old that has gone in and out of fashion—in when infectious disease outbreaks occurred and then out when treatments and vaccines that could be mass-produced were developed to contain them.
Taken from healthy people (or in the earliest reported cases, animals) who have recovered from the infectious disease of interest, antibody-rich convalescent plasma is thought to give recipients’ immune systems a running start.
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Rubin R. Testing an Old Therapy Against a New Disease: Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19. JAMA. 2020;323(21):2114–2117. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7456
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