BACKGROUND: Passive therapy with convalescent plasma (CP) could be an effective and safe treatment option in COVID-19 patients. Neutralizing antibodies present in CP generated in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and directed against the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein are considered to play a major role in the viral clearance. CP infusion may also contribute to the modulation of the immune response through its immunomodulatory effect. We describe for the first time the effectiveness of a CP collection protocol from repeated donations in young patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We enrolled health service workers who experienced mild to moderate COVID-19 and from whom several donations have been collected. No minimal severity threshold and no biological cure criteria were required. Donors could return to a second plasma donation 14 days after the first donation. A minimal neutralizing antibody titer of 1:40 was considered for clinical use.
RESULTS: Eighty-eight donors were included (median age 35 [28-48] years, 41 women), and 149 plasma products were collected. COVID-19 were mainly WHO stage 2 infections (96%). Among the 88 first donations, 76% had neutralizing antibody titers higher than or equal to 1:40. Eighty-eight percent of donors who came for a second donation had a neutralizing antibody titer of 1:40. Median durations were 15 (15-19) and 38 (33-46) days from the first to the second donation and from recovery to the second donation, respectively. Sixty-nine percent of donors who came for a third donation had a neutralizing antibody titer of 1:40. Median durations were 16 (13-37) and 54 (49-61) days from the second to the third donation and from recovery to the third donation, respectively. No significant difference was observed between the IgG ratio and the age of the donors or the time between recovery and donation. The average IgG ratio did not significantly vary between donations. When focused on repeated blood donors, no significant differences were observed either.
CONCLUSION: The recruitment of young patients with a mild to moderate CO-VID-19 course is an efficient possibility to collect CP with a satisfactory level of neutralizing antibodies. Repeated donations are a well-tolerated and effective way of CP collection.