Effect of Convalescent Plasma Therapy on Viral Shedding and Survival in Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019

J Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 16;222(1):38-43. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa228.


Currently, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been reported in almost all countries globally. No effective therapy has been documented for COVID-19, and the role of convalescent plasma therapy is unknown. In the current study, 6 patients with COVID-19 and respiratory failure received convalescent plasma a median of 21.5 days after viral shedding was first detected, all tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA within 3 days after infusion, and 5 eventually died. In conclusion, convalescent plasma treatment can end SARS-CoV-2 shedding but cannot reduce the mortality rate in critically ill patients with end-stage COVID-19, and treatment should be initiated earlier.

Keywords: Convalescent plasma therapy; Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); Fatality; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); Survival rate; Viral shedding.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / therapeutic use*
  • Betacoronavirus / genetics*
  • Blood Donors
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • China
  • Coronavirus Infections / mortality*
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Virus Shedding / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • RNA, Viral