MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Mayo Clinic has announced that it is researching the use of convalescent plasma as a possible therapy for COVID-19.

Health officials said that treatment involves giving patients who have the virus an infusion of plasma from those who have recovered from the disease.

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The medical thinking is that the plasma from those who have recovered is rich in antibodies, which could be a great asset for those battling the coronavirus.

“Mayo Clinic has mobilized quickly to advance convalescent plasma in a scientific way,” Dr. Michael J. Joyner, an anesthesiologist, said.

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According to the Mayo Clinic:

“The treatment is based on the function of antibodies, proteins created by the immune system that combat invaders to the body in a variety of ways. Some are capable of neutralizing a virus, while others work by mobilizing a range of other immune cells that fight off disease. It’s not yet known by which mechanism COVID-19 antibodies might work, but the thinking is that an infusion of convalescent plasma may boost a generalized response, known as passive immunity, until a patient develops a strong, targeted ability to fight the virus.”

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The Mayo said there’s a long history of using serum, or plasma with clotting factors removed, for more than a century, even prior to the use of antibiotics to treat certain infectious diseases in the 1940s.