Testing, Antibodies & Convalescent Plasma as Treatment Option?

Posted by jdlogan65 @jdlogan65, Mar 28, 2020

We all know that COVID-19 testing has lagged far behind the spread of this pandemic. You can extrapolate the reported cases, mortality rate etc. and assume that hundreds of thousands of people have already survived this virus and are carrying potential life-saving antibodies. Now that we will soon have rapid testing available why not reach out to those people, test them and ask for the only treatment currently available? A public service announcement would be a good start. We must protect our health care workers first and treat others according to what the experts determine. It is a bit scary being a transplant recipient and having a suppressed immune system. I have been taking precautions for 3 months and have self quarantined. I have seen so much good in people during this crisis. My neighbors are wonderful. It is good to see people coming together and helping each other.

@mayofeb2020

@zep.. my daughter said the Roche one is more accurate. She is not in the medical profession but she is a very good researcher.

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@mayofeb2020– More accurate means nothing really in relation to what needs to be an accurate test result. This is an almost, but not there yet. Unless there is a true standard with proven results tests just aren't "there" yet.

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@sueinmn

@bvh176 I love the questions we get here – it sends me to find the most up-to-date information in the fast-changing illness!
At this point, the plasma is being reserved for treating those who are very ill and in respiratory distress. It is still considered experimental, and results are being closely tracked.
A study using anti-body rich plasma as a preventative is planned "soon", but will be limited to at-risk individuals with prolonged close contact to an infected person – https://www.uab.edu/news/health/item/11314-convalescent-plasma-therapy-is-treating-coronavirus-patients-in-uab-research.
At this point, I would say they are some time from trying this as a general preventative therapy, because the needed plasma is not very abundant. One study I read said one person's plasma is only sufficient to treat 1-2 other individuals.
Stay tuned for further developments.
Sue

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@sueinmn– It's so frustrating to have "almost" reliable testing. It's like almost pregnant.

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@merpreb

@sueinmn– It's so frustrating to have "almost" reliable testing. It's like almost pregnant.

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@merpreb Ha Ha!

@mayofeb2020 @zep @bvh176 We need to remember that development of such tests is usually measured in many months, if not years, not in days or weeks. Rushing products to market may work for the latest fad or gadget, but not for a critical medical test. There are many, many steps in proper validation for medical tests, and they take a long time. Before release, the test results generally undergo peer review as well. All of this was bypassed under emergency orders, and tests were allowed to be released with the assurance of validity by the developer alone.

In any other time, the current Covid-19 antibody tests would not see the light of day, much less be promoted, until tested by an independent laboratory and having the results peer-reviewed. Shortcuts can have serious, even deadly consequences. If a vulnerable person were to get a "false positive" result and stop taking precautions, then get Covid-19 … I don't even want to think about it.

We also need a few more answers about what being positive for antibodies really means. Can one be reinfected, or do the antibodies confer immunity? If immune, for how long? If you can get reinfected, would it be more or less severe? And on and on… Again, these answers are beginning to emerge as scientists do their research, both for a vaccine and studying immunity. So far, what is coming out looks positive – that is, in primates and mice, antibodies seem to prevent reinfection by the virus, but until we know for sure, the test, at least for those of us at high risk, is immaterial.

As always, stay tuned for further developments

Sue

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@sueinmn

@merpreb Ha Ha!

@mayofeb2020 @zep @bvh176 We need to remember that development of such tests is usually measured in many months, if not years, not in days or weeks. Rushing products to market may work for the latest fad or gadget, but not for a critical medical test. There are many, many steps in proper validation for medical tests, and they take a long time. Before release, the test results generally undergo peer review as well. All of this was bypassed under emergency orders, and tests were allowed to be released with the assurance of validity by the developer alone.

In any other time, the current Covid-19 antibody tests would not see the light of day, much less be promoted, until tested by an independent laboratory and having the results peer-reviewed. Shortcuts can have serious, even deadly consequences. If a vulnerable person were to get a "false positive" result and stop taking precautions, then get Covid-19 … I don't even want to think about it.

We also need a few more answers about what being positive for antibodies really means. Can one be reinfected, or do the antibodies confer immunity? If immune, for how long? If you can get reinfected, would it be more or less severe? And on and on… Again, these answers are beginning to emerge as scientists do their research, both for a vaccine and studying immunity. So far, what is coming out looks positive – that is, in primates and mice, antibodies seem to prevent reinfection by the virus, but until we know for sure, the test, at least for those of us at high risk, is immaterial.

As always, stay tuned for further developments

Sue

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Here is the latest podcast about testing and explains "false negatives" and other results

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@merpreb

@sueinmn– It's so frustrating to have "almost" reliable testing. It's like almost pregnant.

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Merry, thanks for the laugh…

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