Convalescent plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 virus infection is based on the function of antibodies, tiny proteins created by the immune system, that combat invaders to the body in a variety of ways. Some are capable of neutralizing a virus, while others work by mobilizing a range of other immune cells that fight off disease.
A type of serologic test known as ELISA is used to determine if the blood does actually contain antibodies specific to the virus. Blood is collected from patients who had a PCR test to diagnose their illness as COVID-19. The blood is processed through a machine that collects the plasma, since that is where the antibodies are found, and returns the blood cells to the patient.
Other Mayo Clinic medical research websites:
Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding along with guidelines and recommendations may have changed since the original publication date.
Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for additional updates on COVID-19. For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.