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Blood Plasma Not Good Enough For Ebola

Update Date: Jan 07, 2016 02:31 PM EST
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Plasma antibodies may not be potent enough to combat Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), indicates a recently published study.

Researchers at a clinic in Guinean capital of Conakry observed 81 people treated with antibodies and later compared the group's survival rates with that of over 400 people treated at the clinic. They found no significant difference in survival, ABC News reports. The study's finding has prompted some researchers to suggest that the exercise is not worth further pursuit. Plasma antibodies were obtained from 58 people that had recovered from the virus.

"The transfusion of up to 500 ml of convalescent plasma with unknown levels of neutralizing antibodies in 84 patients with confirmed EVD was not associated with a significant improvement in survival," the paper's authors concluded in New England Journal of Medicine.

The paper's authors however argue that plasma antibodies are a worthy contender. They stated that the potency of antibodies could not be ascertained before use and it is possible that some donations were made immediately up on recovery when antibodies levels in the donor are low.

Reuters also reported that four children in the group given plasma and six pregnant women recovered from the virus. These two groups are said to have poor prognosis.

Ebola currently does not have targeted treatments and vaccines are yet to be licensed for use. The virus that caused the 2013 outbreak in Africa was fatal in 60 percent of the infections, killing over 11,000 people even as 28,637 were infected.

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