Countries fighting outbreaks of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 should consider using the antibodies of people who have recovered from infection to treat cases and provide short-term immunity—lasting weeks to months—to critical health care workers, argue two infectious disease experts--Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. and Liise-anne Pirofski, MD, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. In an open-access essay published online on March 13, 2020 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation (https://www.jci.org/articles/view/138003). Dr. Casadevall and Dr. Pirofski, wrote that the infusion of antibody-containing serum from convalescing patients has a long history of effective use as a stopgap measure against infectious diseases, and can be implemented relatively quickly—long before other antiviral treatments, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines are developed, approved, and available. The JCI essay is titled “The Convalescent Sera Option for Containing COVID-19.” “In addition to public health containment and mitigation protocols, this may be our only near-term option for treating and preventing COVID-19, and it is something we can start putting into place in the next few weeks and months,” Dr. Casadevall says. To date, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that appears to have originated in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 has caused outbreaks of COVID-19 across the world.
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