Convalescent plasma: new evidence for an old therapeutic tool?

Blood Transfus. 2016 Mar;14(2):152-7. doi: 10.2450/2015.0131-15. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


Passive immunisation for the prevention and treatment of human infectious diseases can be traced back to the 20(th) century. The recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has turned the spotlight onto the possible use of convalescent whole blood and convalescent plasma in the treatment of infectious diseases because they are the only therapeutic strategy available in some cases, given the unavailability of vaccines, drugs or other specific treatments. Convalescent blood products could be a valid option in the treatment/prophylaxis of several infectious diseases both in association with other drugs/preventive measures and as the only therapy when a specific treatment is not available. However, there are still some issues to consider in determining the advisability of implementing a large-scale convalescent plasma transfusion programme.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Western
  • Blood Component Transfusion*
  • Convalescence*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Ebolavirus*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / blood
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Plasma*