Coronavirus antibodies in blood plasma donations fade rapidly after symptoms first appear, a new study suggests.
Researchers followed a small group of recovered COVID-19 patients who donated their blood and found all of them showed decreases in antibodies after three months.
What's more, just three weeks later, levels for half of the detectable antibodies fell again.
The team, from Héma-Québec, a blood donation center in Québec, Canada, says the findings suggest the earlier plasma is collected after someone recovers from COVID-19, the better.
Additionally, they add that studies using antibodies tests to determine how many people have recovered from the virus may be undercounting the true figure.
Convalescent plasma therapy is when the liquid portion of blood is taken from a recovered COVID-19 patients and transferred into sick patients in hopes they will develop the antibodies needed to fight off the infection. Pictured: A medical worker holding a bag of blood plasma
A new study from Héma-Québec, in Canada, found that 15 recovered COVID-19 patients who donated plasma had antibody levels drop after three months and again 21 days later. Pictured: A woman donating plssma
Convalescent plasma therapy is when the liquid portion of blood is taken from a recovered coronavirus patient.
The hope is that the antibodies and immunity in the blood of a healthy person will be transferred to a sick person.
From this, the infected person will then develop the antibodies needed to fight off the coronavirus.
The treatment was first used during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, a situation not far removed from the coronavirus pandemic.
In August, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the treatment for emergency use authorization last week with President Donald Trump hailing the decision as 'truly historic.'
However, a panel at the National Institutes of Health released a statement saying there is not enough data that shows plasma therapy is effective at improving survival rates.