the return of convalescent plasma

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DECRYPTION – At the beginning of April, a trial carried out in China with plasma from patients cured of the coronavirus gave good results.

A nurse, wearing coronavirus protective gear, draws blood to test for COVID-19 antibodies at a clinic in Moscow, May 15.
A nurse, wearing coronavirus protective gear, draws blood to test for COVID-19 antibodies at a clinic in Moscow, May 15. VASILY MAXIMOV / AFP

The use of antibodies as a treatment is not new. In fact, it even preceded their discovery! Researchers from the Koch Institute in Germany and the Pasteur Institute in France already understood at the end of the XIXe century that there was in the serum of the cured patients (the filtered blood, to put it simply) “something” which made it possible to fight the pathogen responsible for the disease. By administering this serum, one could cure a patient: it was the basis of serotherapy which earned one of these discoverers, Emil von Behring, the first Nobel Prize in medicine in 1901.

It also seems to work for the Covid-19. A test carried out in China with plasma from convalescent patients of Covid-19 (the plasma is obtained by centrifugation and does not have exactly the same composition as the serum obtained by coagulation, but the principle is the same) has given good results. results, published in PNAS in early April, out of ten patients with severe forms. In France, an essay called

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