This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020
Advertisement

Men ‘make more coronavirus antibodies’ than women

Covid-19 survivors are being sought to donate blood plasma as part of a major trial in the UK.

Image: PA Images

MEN APPEAR TO produce higher levels of Covid-19 antibodies than women, UK figures suggest.

Covid-19 survivors are being sought to donate blood plasma as part of a major trial assessing whether it could help some of the sickest patients.

The trial is ongoing to assess whether convalescent plasma donations can be transfused into patients who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), which is collecting the plasma for the trial, said new analysis had found that men produce more coronavirus antibodies than women, which makes them better plasma donors.

The new figures show that 43% of male donors had plasma rich enough in antibodies for their plasma to be included in the trial, compared with 29% of women.

Professor David Roberts, associate director for blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’d still like to hear from anybody who had coronavirus or the symptoms. More plasma donors are needed.

“But we’d especially want to hear from men. We test every plasma donation and men have higher antibody levels, which means we’re more likely to be able to use their plasma to save lives.

“Initially your immune system will try and fight off a virus with white blood cells. If you become more ill, your immune system needs to produce more antibodies that neutralise or kill the virus.

“Our studies, and many others around the world, show men with Covid-19 are more likely to become seriously ill than women. This makes them better plasma donors once they have recovered.”

Last week it was announced that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 through the national testing programme will be asked to join a blood plasma trial.

NHSBT said people confirmed with the virus through the “pillar 2” national testing programme will receive a text message 21 days after their result to see whether they are willing to donate plasma.

The texts will now be sent on a weekly basis to anyone who tests positive through the national testing programme. People will receive them 21 days after their result.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

The plasma from former patients is rich in the antibodies that develop as a person recovers from an illness.

It is transfused into people who are seriously ill with Covid-19 and struggling to develop their own antibodies.

If the trial is successful, being treated with convalescent plasma could become a widespread practice in hospitals.

Two plasma donors have described their decision to donate as a “no-brainer”. 

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Press Association

Read next:

COMMENTS (22)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel