• Kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 convalescent plasma transfusion in patients with severe respiratory failure: an observational case-control study

      Klein, Matthew N; Wang, Elizabeth Wenqian; Zimand, Paul; Beauchamp, Heather; Donis, Caitlin; Ward, Matthew D; Martinez-Hernandez, Aidaelis; Tabatabai, Ali; Baddley, John W; Bloch, Evan M; et al. (BMJ Publishing Group, 2021-04-23)
      Aims: While the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic may be contained through vaccination, transfusion of convalescent plasma (CCP) from individuals who recovered from COVID-19 (CCP) is considered an alternative treatment. We investigate if CCP transfusion in patients with severe respiratory failure increases plasma titres of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and improves clinical outcomes. Methods: Patients with COVID-19 (n=34) were consented for CCP transfusion and serial blood draws pretransfusion and post-transfusion. Plasma SARS-CoV-2 antireceptor binding domain (RBD) IgG and IgM titres were measured by ELISA serially, and compared with serial plasma titre levels from control patients (n=68). The primary outcome was survival at 30 days, and secondary outcomes were length of ventilator and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support, length of stay (LOS) in the hospital and in the intensive care unit (ICU). Outcomes were compared with matched control patients (n=34). Kinetics of antibodies and clinical outcomes were compared using LOess regression and ORs, respectively. Results: Prior to CCP transfusion, 74% of patients were anti-RBD seropositive for IgG (median 1:3200), and 81% were anti-RBD IgM seropositive (median 1:320), while 16% were seronegative. The kinetics of antibody titres in CCP recipients were similar to controls. CCP recipients presented with similar survival, duration on ventilatory and/or ECMO support, as well as ICU and hospital LOS compared with controls. Conclusions: CCP transfusion did not increase the kinetics of SARS-CoV2 antibodies and did not result in improved clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 with severe respiratory failure, suggesting that CCP may not be indicated in this category of patients.
    • Passive Immunity Trial for Our Nation (PassITON): study protocol for a randomized placebo-control clinical trial evaluating COVID-19 convalescent plasma in hospitalized adults

      Self, Wesley H; Stewart, Thomas G; Wheeler, Allison P; El Atrouni, Wissam; Bistran-Hall, Amanda J; Casey, Jonathan D; Cataldo, Vince D; Chappell, James D; Cohn, Claudia S; Collins, Jessica B; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-03-20)
      Background: Convalescent plasma is being used widely as a treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the clinical efficacy of COVID-19 convalescent plasma is unclear. Methods: The Passive Immunity Trial for Our Nation (PassITON) is a multicenter, placebo-controlled, blinded, randomized clinical trial being conducted in the USA to provide high-quality evidence on the efficacy of COVID-19 convalescent plasma as a treatment for adults hospitalized with symptomatic disease. Adults hospitalized with COVID-19 with respiratory symptoms for less than 14 days are eligible. Enrolled patients are randomized in a 1:1 ratio to 1 unit (200–399 mL) of COVID-19 convalescent plasma that has demonstrated neutralizing function using a SARS-CoV-2 chimeric virus neutralization assay. Study treatments are administered in a blinded fashion and patients are followed for 28 days. The primary outcome is clinical status 14 days after study treatment as measured on a 7-category ordinal scale assessing mortality, respiratory support, and return to normal activities of daily living. Key secondary outcomes include mortality and oxygen-free days. The trial is projected to enroll 1000 patients and is designed to detect an odds ratio ≤ 0.73 for the primary outcome. Discussion: This trial will provide the most robust data available to date on the efficacy of COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of adults hospitalized with acute moderate to severe COVID-19. These data will be useful to guide the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the current pandemic and for informing decisions about whether developing a standardized infrastructure for collecting and disseminating convalescent plasma to prepare for future viral pandemics is indicated. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04362176. Registered on 24 April 2020. © 2021, The Author(s).