Podcast: Can plasma from COVID-19 survivors help others battle the disease?

A new episode of our podcast “Show Me the Science” has been posted. At present, we are highlighting research and patient care on the Washington University Medical Campus as our scientists and clinicians confront COVID-19.

With the number of cases climbing daily, some doctors and researchers are looking to bring back a very old therapy: the transfusion of antibodies from the plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients into patients battling COVID-19 infection.

In this episode, Jeffrey P. Henderson, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology in the Division of Infectious Diseases, discusses the effort to test plasma as a way to treat very ill patients. As long ago as the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, doctors — recognizing that people who had recovered would have developed immunity to the infection — tried treating sick patients with blood plasma from those who had recovered, and in many cases it worked. In the early 2000s, the strategy was tried again, often successfully, in patients infected with SARS, a coronavirus related to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Now Henderson is one of the leaders of a nationwide trial, with colleagues at Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic, to test the strategy in patients with COVID-19.

This podcast, “Show Me the Science,” is produced by the Office of Medical Public Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

A transcript of this episode will be available soon.

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