Background: The efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma (CCP) for preventing infection in exposed, uninfected individuals is unknown. We hypothesized that CCP might prevent infection when administered before symptoms or laboratory evidence of infection.
Methods: This double-blinded, phase 2 randomized, controlled trial (RCT) compared the efficacy and safety of prophylactic high titer (≥1:320) CCP with standard plasma. Asymptomatic participants aged ≥18 years with close contact exposure to a person with confirmed COVID-19 in the previous 120 hours and negative SARS-CoV-2 test within 24 hours before transfusion were eligible. The primary outcome was development of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Results: 180 participants were enrolled; 87 were assigned to CCP and 93 to control plasma, and 170 transfused at 19 sites across the United States from June 2020 to March 2021. Two were excluded for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positivity at screening. Of the remaining 168 participants, 12/81 (14.8%) CCP and 13/87 (14.9%) control recipients developed SARS-CoV-2 infection; 6 (7.4%) CCP and 7 (8%) control recipients developed COVID-19 (infection with symptoms). There were no COVID-19-related hospitalizations in CCP and 2 in control recipients. There were 28 adverse events in CCP and 58 in control recipients. Efficacy by restricted mean infection free time (RMIFT) by 28 days for all SARS-CoV-2 infections (25.3 vs. 25.2 days; p=0.49) and COVID-19 (26.3 vs. 25.9 days; p=0.35) were similar for both groups.
Conclusion: In this trial, which enrolled persons with recent exposure to a person with confirmed COVID-19, high titer CCP as post-exposure prophylaxis appeared safe, but did not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Trial registration: Clinicaltrial.gov number NCT04323800 .