Skip to content

Medicine Matters

Sharing successes, challenges and daily happenings in the Department of Medicine

Medicine Matters Home Article of the Week Early antibody treatment, inflammation, and risk of post-COVID conditions

Early antibody treatment, inflammation, and risk of post-COVID conditions

ARTICLE: Early antibody treatment, inflammation, and risk of post-COVID conditions

AUTHORS: Kelly A Gebo, Sonya L Heath, Yuriko Fukuta, Xianming Zhu, Sheriza Baksh, Allison G Abraham, Feben Habtehyimer, David Shade, Jessica Ruff, Malathi Ram, Oliver Laeyendecker, Reinaldo E Fernandez, Eshan U Patel, Owen R Baker, Shmuel Shoham, Edward R Cachay, Judith S Currier, Jonathan M Gerber, Barry Meisenberg, Donald N Forthal, Laura L Hammitt, Moises A Huaman, Adam Levine, Giselle S Mosnaim, Bela Patel, James H Paxton, Jay S Raval, Catherine G Sutcliffe, Shweta Anjan, Thomas Gniadek, Seble Kassaye, Janis E Blair, Karen Lane, Nichol A McBee, Amy L Gawad, Piyali Das, Sabra L KleinAndrew Pekosz, Evan M Bloch, Daniel Hanley, Arturo CasadevallAaron A R TobianDavid J Sullivan; CSSC-004 Consortium

JOURNAL: mBio. 2023 Sep 19:e0061823. doi: 10.1128/mbio.00618-23. Online ahead of print.


Post-COVID conditions (PCCs) are common and have significant morbidity. Risk factors for PCC include advancing age, female sex, obesity, and diabetes mellitus. Little is known about treatment, inflammation, and PCC. Among 882 individuals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection participating in a randomized trial of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) vs control plasma with available biospecimens and symptom data, the association between early CCP treatment, cytokine levels, and PCC was evaluated. Cytokine and chemokine levels were assessed at baseline, day 14, and day 90 using a multiplexed sandwich immunoassay (Meso Scale Discovery). Presence of any self-reported PCC symptoms was assessed at day 90. Associations between CCP treatment, cytokine levels, and PCC were examined using multivariate logistic regression models. One third of the 882 participants had day 90 PCC symptoms, with fatigue (14.5%) and anosmia (14.5%) being most common. Cytokine levels decreased from baseline to day 90. In a multivariable analysis, female sex (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.69 [1.93-3.81]), older age (AOR = 1.32 [1.17-1.50]), and elevated baseline levels of IL-6 (AOR = 1.59 [1.02-2.47]) were independently associated with development of PCC. Those who received early CCP treatment (≤5 days after symptom onset) compared to late CCP treatment had statistically significant lower odds of PCC. IMPORTANCE Approximately 20% of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 experienced long-term health effects, as defined PCC. However, it is unknown if there are any early biomarkers associated with PCC or whether early intervention treatments may decrease the risk of PCC. In a secondary analysis of a randomized clinical trial, this study demonstrates that among outpatients with SARS-CoV-2, increased IL-6 at time of infection is associated with increased odds of PCC. In addition, among individuals treated early, within 5 days of symptom onset, with COVID-19 convalescent plasma, there was a trend for decreased odds of PCC after adjusting for other demographic and clinical characteristics. Future treatment studies should be considered to evaluate the effect of early treatment and anti-IL-6 therapies on PCC development.

For the full article, click here.

For a link to the abstract, click here.

JHU Hub: Early Convalescent Plasma Treatment May Lower Long Covid Risk, Study Finds


Kelsey Bennett