convalescent plasma


Definition of convalescent plasma

: blood plasma that is obtained from an individual who has recovered from an infectious disease and contains antibodies against the infectious agent of the disease and may be administered by intravenous transfusion to prevent or treat infection in other individuals In New York and Houston, pints of straw-colored convalescent plasma have dripped into the veins of five U.S. coronavirus patients.— Elizabeth Weise and Mark Johnson Convalescent plasma has the advantage that while its antibodies limit viral replication, other plasma components can also exert beneficial effects such as replenishing coagulation factors when given to patients with hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola.— John D. Roback and Jeannette Guarner It's not yet known by which mechanism COVID-19 antibodies might work, but the thinking is that an infusion of convalescent plasma may boost a generalized response, known as passive immunity, until a patient develops a strong, targeted ability to fight the virus.— Dana Sparks

Note: The terms convalescent plasma and convalescent serum are often used interchangeably.

First Known Use of convalescent plasma

1919, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of convalescent plasma was in 1919

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convalescent plasma

convalescent serum

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Cite this Entry

“Convalescent plasma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

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