Doctors worldwide want to currently one thing above all: the blood of former Covid-19-patients. More precisely: to the Plasma. What a scene from a Dracula movie sounds, intended for scientific research: In the fight against pathogens, the immune system of the body called anti body forms. They help fight infection and protect against reinfection with the same pathogen. These special substances are filtered from the blood genesener patients and sick humans, it could affect the course of the disease positively, hope researchers. May infections can also be prevented.
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Since it is a novel pathogen that was long time unclear whether or not Ill ever build an immunity to Sars-CoV-2 – a basic prerequisite for the procedure. There are now several indications, including a study with rhesus monkeys, in which animals were deliberately infected with the Coronavirus. After surviving the disease, the researchers waited for a couple of weeks, and administered to the animals for a second Time a significant Virus quantity. But not a monkey fell ill again, evidence of an acquired immunity.
Researchers are now sure: people form after infection, antibodies against the Coronavirus. Usually this happens towards the end of the first week of illness. This is also the reason why so-called anti-body-not hitting Tests with symptom onset, but only after a few days illness.
A special role in neutralizing play at the end of the anti-body. “The neutralizing antibodies are patrolling virtually in front of the cell and catch the Virus, so that it cannot enter the cell,” explained recently, Melanie Brinkmann, Virologist at the Braunschweig-based Helmholtz center for infection research. Even after a Patient has recovered, the antibodies at least for a while in the blood.
Experts believe that the immune protection in the case of Sars-CoV-2 for up to two years, continue, the former in this time, so no longer can infect Diseased themselves. A similar period was also observed in other human coronaviruses. “In all likelihood, you are protected after infection with the Sars-CoV-2-Virus at least a couple of years before re-infection,” said the President of the German society for immunology, Thomas Kamradt, compared to the German press Agency.
Proceedings from the time of the Spanish flu
The approach is to take an antibody of recovering people and to be Diseased, is not new. He has already been tested in other outbreaks such as the swine flu. The therapy was also requested during the so-called Spanish flu applied, which was from 1918 and throughout the world, millions of people live. There is some tentative evidence that the treatment the chances of Survival of the flu-increased already at this time, the patient.
Regardless of which pathogen is present, the hope for this Form of therapy is always the same: sick people have the antibodies to fight the pathogen before the immune system of the Sufferers can do for yourself. Theoretically, also be conceivable that the antibody clinical staff to be proactively given to you passively immunized. The staff would have to get the anti body, however, every two weeks, estimates Brinkmann, the Virologist.
Whether and how well the approach in the case of Sars-CoV-works 2, must, however, show yet. A study with five seriously ill Covid patients from China raises hopes, but should not be overrated. Although the state of health of the sick improved after the administration of blood plasma with antibodies significantly – however, it is unclear whether the patients had not recovered by itself. In order to assess this, we would need a control group. In addition, the number of patients studied is very low.
A number of hospitals including the Medical University of Hannover (MHH) and the University hospital in Erlangen – try, therefore, to advance the research. You are currently looking for people who have had Covid-19 and are recovered. “We absolutely want to try, whether we can help non-critically ill,” said the MHH-Director of the Institute for transfusion medicine, Rainer Blasczyk.
Antibodies from the test tube
Also clinics in New York to try to save with antibodies from Convalescent life, such as the magazine “Nature” reported recently. Since antibodies are in contrast to conventional medications, the body’s own substances, should be in the rule and the side effects are low, hope the medics.
At the Technical University of Braunschweig (TU) can be obtained, human antibodies against Sars-CoV-2 meanwhile, in a test tube. In contrast to preparations from the blood gesundeter patients is difficult, this could be an inexhaustible source of stresses Brinkmann. These antibodies should also be tested for their effectiveness.
The antibodies in Covid should be patient to be effective, this would be a medical light, and is important for the treatment of individual severely ill. The real Problem – the rapid spread of the pathogen – would be to curb probably. It would require an effective vaccine that prevents, from the outset, severe courses of the disease. Also this research is being conducted at the Moment with high pressure.
Melanie Brinkmann’s greatest hope rests on the vaccination, she said on Thursday evening in “Maybrit Illner”: “it is the Holy Grail, we need to find to be able to our life back to normal lead.”
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