Plasma banks at SAIMS & MGMMC find reduced antibodies in the bodies of recovered plasma donors.
In a startling discovery, at least 5% of coronavirus recovered patients in the city of Indore exhibit absentee antibodies of the virus. This was brought to notice by major plasma banks in 2 medical institutions in Indore that have discovered very low to no antibodies in the systems of 5-7% of the erstwhile COVID-19 patients.
Antibodies Missing in plasma donors
Plasma Banks at the city's largest COVID-19 facility, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences (SAIMS), and another one at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College (MGMMC) reported lower to negligible percentages of antibodies in survivors, rendering them ineligible for plasma donation, the transfusion of which is being used a rapid means recovery in COVID patients. Around 17 of the 378 prospective donors had either no or a very low level of antibodies at SAIMS and 25 of the 130 samples at the government-run Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College (MGMMC) reported similar low levels of antibodies.
Antibodies are the immunity system's response against any foreign harmful virus or bacteria that may attack the body. Recovery of patients is being fast-tracked with the help of this antibody transfusion in active cases in many parts of India. The Medical Staff of both these institutions have listed several reasons for this absence, including the severity of the virus, the response of the immunity system and the possibility of false negatives by the RT-PCR method of testing.
These reasons were determined as most asymptomatic patients were found to have low antibody count, due to a lesser viral load. Similarly, those cured off from critical situations are estimated to have more antibodies, and for a longer duration. As far as the response of the immune system is considered, health experts pointed out that it varies from person to person and is factored on the basis of their age, gender, previous diseases and disorders and other such factors. It was also highlighted that though COVID-19 testing by RT-PCR method is the most reliable among all techniques, it has an accuracy of only 80%, which renders a possibility of furnishing false positives, adding on to the case of no antibodies in survivors.
Fear of re-infection
Besides hampered recoveries, the absence and lowering of antibodies in survivors also brings the concern of reinfection of the coronavirus. While most doctors believe that if the T-cells of the immunity system retain the memory of the antibody, the chances of relapsing, even with reduced antibody count are low, however, a detailed study over the matter is still going on.
With inputs from IANS