Most media and public attention during the pandemic has focused upon efforts to develop an effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Some attention has been paid to investigational therapeutics for treating infected patients, such as the antiviral drug remdesivir or the corticosteroid dexamethasone, both of which may reduce severity of illness and mortality.
Less noticed are trials exploring the novel utility of a therapy that has been around for more than 100 years. Convalescent plasma (CP) is a strategy of passive immunization for preventing infections (like vaccines) and treating infections (like therapeutics). Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Health are part of a nationwide clinical trial to assess the efficacy of CP to prevent COVID-19 after a known exposure to the virus.
Edward Cachay, MD, an infectious disease specialist at UC San Diego Health, professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and one of the trial’s principal investigators, answers questions about how CP therapy may help end the pandemic’s terrible toll.
A Spanish language version is available upon request. Cachay is available for interview in both English and Spanish.