Experts say there is no evidence that the plasma of COVID-19 survivors will be effective in preventing the infection or treating those who have been infected.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the blood plasma of the 44-year-old Italian man who introduced COVID-19 to Nigeria would be beneficial for the treatment of new patients in the absence of a defined therapeutic drug for COVID-19.
Also, on April 15, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, via his Twitter handle @seyiamakinde said, “as a COVID-19 survivor, I volunteer to donate my blood to be studied by our experts researching on the ‘Evaluation of Post Infection Protection Against SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) in Nigeria.’”
“It’s not that anybody has an idea that it’s going to work. There is a basis for using the plasma of somebody who has just recovered from an infectious illness to attempt to treat infection in another person………
That, of course, is applicable only if the infection is capable of stimulating humoral immunity because there are some infections that will not stimulate humoral immunity but stimulate cellular immunity and the antibody will not be there,” he explained further.
Akanmu said there was the need to study the lifespan of the antibody to know its stability “and to also know if it is an antibody that needs to be worked on to passively treat another person.”
Also, a renowned virologist, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, said “we are dealing with a new virus and we don’t have the concrete evidence that it works. We are hearing of people who have recovered from the virus becoming positive again, so that’s where the complication is.
“We need to know why they are testing positive again; we need to know if they didn’t develop immunity and we need to know if the virus came back to overwhelm them. These are questions none of us can answer,” Tomori said.
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