Thailand’s leading virologist has spoken out about the use of antibodies to treat COVID-19 in immunocompromised individuals. He proposed that the long-acting antibodies (LAABs) already available in the kingdom be used during the current round of COVID infections. The efficacy of the LAABs on hand is projected to dwindle further as the coronavirus mutates.
Dr. Yong Poovorawan, a virology expert at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, stated that antibodies were utilized in the early phases of the epidemic. COVID vaccinations were not available at the time, and thus plasma from recovered patients, which carried antibodies, was utilized to treat new patients. at least one of the two.
Dr. Yong, who directs the university’s Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology, argued that ongoing viral changes render produced antibodies less effective. With Omicron BA.2.75 as the current prevalent strain, the most effective antibodies available in Thailand are those obtained through the LAAB procurement system. Dr. Yong said that when the virus mutates more and sub-variants of the BQ.1, BQ.1.1, or XBB strains proliferate, current LAABs will become even less effective.
The virologist recommends that antibodies be given to patients with weakened immune systems, such as those with chronic renal failure, those on immunosuppressants, organ transplant recipients, and cancer patients at various phases of treatment.
Dr. Yong noted that LAABs can be utilized to treat individuals of susceptible groups who have not gotten enough vaccination doses. Administering LAABs as soon as feasible after getting COVID can help lessen symptom severity and the chance of mortality.
He stated that the Ministry of Health has adequate LAABs in store for individuals who require them, and that the procedure is quite safe. He also advocated using the present LAAB supply while it was still effective.