Friday, October 03, 2014

Survivor Blood to be used as an Ebola Treatment

The Ebola epidemic is spreading and there is no cure.  Treatment options even in the United States are limited because there are no approved drugs and even the supply of experimental ones have been exhausted.  (See Washington Post Article)

Is it possible that blood could cure Ebola?

That is exactly what the New York Times (read full article here) is reporting as a possible treatment.  The concept is actually pretty simple.  Patients who have been infected with Ebola and survive develop antibodies to the virus.  These virus destroying proteins live in the serum of the blood.  A transfusion of serum or perhaps even whole blood may be the best option as a stop gap measure to treat the expanding number of patients with the disease.  The World Health Organization even has a specific guidance document on the topic.  (WHO convalescent blood for Ebola)

In this space over many years, I have discussed how to use blood therapeutically for regenerative medicine.  Discussions about platelet-rich plasma, bone marrow concentrates and stem cells from peripheral blood have focus primarily on orthopedic injuries and disorders.  Blood as a treatment for Ebola will receive more attention in this blog.  Anyone with blood expertise of any kind should do whatever they can to help.  Please post comments or send me information about how blood is being used to treat Ebola:   @bloodcure on Twitter.

The potential restorative powers of blood are considerable and if it is possible to stop the epidemic or at least slow it down by using the serum of survivors as a treatment, we should do everything we can do execute on that strategy in addition to pursuing containment, supportive care, and experimental drugs.


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