COVID-19: Antibody therapy in Asklepios clinics in Hamburg

COVID-19: Antibody therapy in Asklepios clinics in Hamburg

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Asklepios clinics use antibody therapy against COVID-19

In the event of an emergency, so-called antibody therapy has so far been one of the few promising options in the treatment of COVID-19, triggered by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. As of next Monday, this therapy will be used in the Hamburg Asklepios clinics for the treatment of life-threatening COVID-19 patients.

For the antibody therapy, antibodies are obtained from blood donations from recovered COVID 19 patients and used to produce so-called “convalescent plasma”, which can then be used for treatment. Asklepios clinics report that plasma withdrawal, preparation and therapy with this passive immunization will start in the Asklepios Clinic Altona.

Antibody therapy for passive immunization

"Antibodies from the blood of recovered patients have already been used to combat other dangerous viral diseases, from diphtheria to Spanish flu to Ebola"; explains Professor Dr. Dirk Arnold, chief physician of the oncology, hematology, palliative medicine and rheumatology department of the Asklepios Klinik Altona. The principle always remains the same: The antibodies from healthy donors who have survived the disease are said to have a positive influence on the course of the disease of the seriously ill by causing passive immunization.

Positive effects on the course of the disease are expected

Ideally, the antibodies also neutralize the virus in COVID-19, which would give the seriously ill patients valuable time to build up their own virus defense, so the hope of Prof. Arnold. "We expect the new therapeutic approach to have beneficial effects on the course of the disease of COVID-19 patients with a very severe course of the disease," emphasizes the doctor.

Call for plasma donation

The “convalescent plasma” required for antibody therapy is obtained from the blood plasma of people suffering from COVID-19 who tested positive for the new coronavirus (Sars-CoV 2) and in whom the onset of the disease symptoms was at least four Weeks ago, the Asklepios clinics report. All Hamburgers who have survived a COVID-19 illness are therefore called upon to contact the Hamburg Blood Donation Service on the hotline (040) 20 00 22 00.

Suitable donors are initially ordered for a laboratory check - and after detection of the necessary number of antibodies in the blood, the plasma is withdrawn a few days later. A total of three bags of 220 ml plasma are removed per plasma donation within 45 minutes, according to the Asklepios Clinics. The Hamburg health authority granted the application for the production of the so-called convalescent plasma as a medicine at very short notice and thus legally allowed the new therapeutic approach to be used quickly for patients with a serious, life-threatening COVID-19 infection.

"The opportunity that antibody therapy offers us is also so valuable because there is currently no single truly convincing other therapeutic approach to controlling this serious disease," summarizes Professor Arnold. (fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters


  • Asklepios clinics: Corona pandemic: Asklepios clinics call Hamburgers to donate plasma and start antibody therapy for COVID-19 patients (published May 1, 2020),

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