All of us are making unprecedented efforts to overcome the depressive situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Myofrastand is launching a new project that involves art and science. This project brings the joy of art and attempts to create awareness of the most common diseases, including COVID-19, through non-morbid languages, art paintings, and sculptures. Stay tuned to gain more information regarding our art exhibition being held on December 11th and December 15th in New Jersey.
Will convalescent serum be used to treat all COVID-19 patients? If so, what are the risks and benefits?
No. First, let’s understand this treatment, it is a type of passive immunization and involves the direct transfer of antibodies extracted from recovered COVID-19 patients to those who are at risk. Note: the recovered patients must have tested positive for COVID-19 previously but negative when participating in this type of immunization. It’s an old method used to prevent or treat infection when a vaccine isn’t available. However, this is more effective when used for prophylaxis than for treatment. When used therapeutically, convalescent serum is administered to those with clinical disease to reduce their symptoms and mortality. But giving people antibodies from survivors doesn’t always work. In order to make it effective, a sufficient amount of antibody must be administered. The challenge is to recruit a considerable number of patients who are eligible to donate plasma. Patients with certain immunodeficiencies or lung-related comorbidities, for example, may be ineligible. Also, the serum should be collected at least a few weeks after the donor has been discharged. Thus, for many reasons this therapy is still considered experimental and indicated for those cases of critical condition. Two months ago, the first dose of convalescent plasma from a COVID-19 patient was collected and transferred to a severely ill patient at a hospital in Wuhan, China. This trial demonstrated an improvement of the heathy condition of the COVID-19 patient with a reduced viral load. Despite being effective, we don’t know how many weeks we can expect the antibodies to persist. Thus, the long-term research goal to treat COVID-19 is still a vaccine. There are currently, no specific treatment for COVID-19, though a number of trials, including antivirals have shown some promise in treating COVID-19. Participating in a clinical trial has risks and benefits. The big benefit of participating in these trials is to prevent infection and subsequent disease in those who are at high risk for disease. The potential risks include the increased risks of having transfusion-related acute lung injury and antibody-dependent enhancement of infection. However, with modern blood banking techniques, these risks are considered low.
In the paste past four months, the leading scientists and health officials sprang into action and rush to find therapies, against SARS-CoV-2 infection. This week, Dr. Pessanha, Director of Experimental Pathology at Myofrastand will address the most common questions regarding the development of therapeutics and vaccines to fight the virus.
Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine – Are them approved to treat SARS-CoV-2?
No. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (a less toxic derivative of chloroquine) are approved for the treatment and suppression of malaria and for the treatment of “collagen diseases” such as Lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. The efficacy of both drugs in patients with SARS-CoV-2-related pneumonia was observed in clinical studies in several Chinese hospitals. According to these studies, chloroquine improved the evolution of pneumonia in some patients with mild, moderate and severe forms of COVID-19 pneumonia. In addition, there were reduction of the duration of symptoms and delayed of viral clearance, all with no side effects. However, its is important to point out that the data underlying these studies have not been published yet. This means that, the optimal dosage of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for SARS-CoV-2 is still an issue that will need to be assessed in the coming days in order to be used in large-scale clinical trials. At the present, the evidences are still insufficient to issue a recommendation on the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine in all critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Stereology can be used as adjunct to histopathologic assessment of melanocytic neoplasms.
Stereology has demonstrated to be one of the most important quantitative methods for quality control in histopathology due the combination of microscopy with several software programs of image analysis.