DUHS scientists make breakthrough in plasma treatment of Covid-19

Published April 13, 2020
A research team of scientists from Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on Monday claimed to have made a significant breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19 after it prepared intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) with plasma obtained from recovered patients of coronavirus for treatment of Covid-19. — Creative commons
A research team of scientists from Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on Monday claimed to have made a significant breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19 after it prepared intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) with plasma obtained from recovered patients of coronavirus for treatment of Covid-19. — Creative commons

A team of scientists from the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on Monday claimed to have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment against Covid-19 after it prepared intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) with plasma obtained from recovered coronavirus patients.

Know more: Does plasma therapy treat Covid? Is it safe? Here's all you need to know about the approach

DUHS Vice Chancellor Muhammad Saeed Quraishy called it an important breakthrough in the war against Covid-19, according to a press release issued by the university.

"This way of treatment is safe, low risk and highly effective against coronavirus. Through this method, Immunoglobulin is prepared after separation of antibodies found in the blood of a recovered patient," the statement said, pointing out that this form of treatment has been approved by US Food and Drug Administration.

Calling its effort "a ray of hope in this time of crisis", the university added that the research team, led by Dr Shaukat Ali, developed this form of treatment after it was able to collect the first blood sample from an infected patient in March.

"The team managed to isolate antibodies from the blood sample chemically, purified it and later concentrated these antibodies using ultrafiltration techniques that remove the remaining unwanted materials from the final product," the statement added, explaining the technique behind the potential treatment.

The university displayed confidence in the efficacy of its treatment by arguing that the Covid-19 strain currently infecting Pakistanis only has a "few mutations" and therefore local IVIG from infected patients holds the potential to provide an extremely potent form of immunisation against Covid-19 for Pakistanis.

Last week, researchers from the university had discovered that certain variants of a human gene may offer resistance against the novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2.

According to their findings, which were published in the Journal of Medical Virology, two variants of the ACE2 (angiotensin I converting enzyme 2) gene — that has been established as the functional receptor for the novel coronavirus — may make a person more resistant to the infection.

Read more: Human gene variants may offer resistance against Covid-19, Dow research suggests

Opinion

Editorial

Breaking the deadlock
09 Dec, 2022

Breaking the deadlock

It is time for PDM and PTI to show flexibility and realise that the future of over 240m people is at stake.
A targeted killing
09 Dec, 2022

A targeted killing

IF there were any doubts about a sinister, transnational plot to kill journalist Arshad Sharif, the 592-page report...
Dog-bite epidemic
09 Dec, 2022

Dog-bite epidemic

AN exploding population of stray canines has fuelled a dog-bite epidemic in Sindh, with the provincial health...
Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...