Q Fellows in the COVID response

A study co-authored by Professor Julia Gog, David N Moore Fellow in Mathematics, and Dr Stephen Kissler, Junior Research Fellow pictured right, has been published in The Lancet this week, whilst Professor David Menon is one of the principal investigators of a new trial at Addenbrooke's Hospital to test whether Covid-19 patients with weak immune systems have a better chance of survival if they are injected with plasma from people who have successfully recovered from the virus.

Pictured left is Professor Menon, whose trial at Addenbrooke's will give antibody-rich plasma, known as ‘convalescent plasma’, to people who are struggling to develop an immune response to the virus as part of a larger trial run nationally by NHS Blood and Transplant. There is already some evidence of patient benefit, but the trial will seek to confirm the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma transfusions.

Professor Menon said:

“Convalescent plasma is a promising treatment which could help patients whose immune systems aren’t producing enough antibodies. It is given to patients with Covid-19 via a transfusion if they are receiving treatment, or likely to receive treatment, in the intensive care unit. By taking part in this national trial, we are helping understand whether convalescent plasma should be widely used to treat serious Covid.”

The study published this week in The Lancet suggests that, in the absence of a vaccine or highly effective treatments for COVID-19, combining isolation and intensive contact tracing with physical distancing measures—such as limits on daily social or workplace contacts—might be the most effective and efficient way to achieve and maintain epidemic control. Dr Kissler and Professor Gog were among eight co-authors of the paper, working on behalf of the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases COVID-19 working group. Photo, right: Professor Gog.

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