WHO Advises Against CCP for Patients With COVID-19

December 08, 2021

A World Health Organization (WHO) Guideline Development Group of international experts recommended against the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) as a therapeutic option for patients with critical, severe or non-severe COVID-19 on Monday. The panel published its recommendations, part of a living WHO guideline on drugs for COVID-19, in the BMJ.

The panel based its recommendations on evidence from 16 clinical trials involving 16,236 patients with non-severe, severe and critical illness. The clinical trials assessed included the RECOVERY trial and the REMAP-CAP (Randomized, Embedded, Multifactorial, Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia) trial. The group also considered a combination of evidence assessing relative benefits and harms, values and preferences and feasibility issues.

In its recommendation against CCP use in patients with non-severe illness, the panel stated that such treatment for patients with a low risk of mortality and other important clinical outcomes is not justified. The panel also cited practical challenges, such as the need to identify and test potential donors, as further limits to CCP’s feasibility and applicability.

While the panel advocated against routine CCP use in all patients, the authors noted that “sufficient uncertainty” in patients with severe and critical illness warrants the continuation of randomized clinical trials (RCTs).

AABB anticipates the publication of additional data from more recent RCTs and will update the member community as new information from these RCTs are available.