By Tan Ee Lyn
HONG KONG | Thu Jan 20, 2011:
(Reuters) - Patients who fell severely ill with the pandemic H1N1 flu responded well when treated with antibodies harvested from survivors of the disease, a study in Hong Kong has found.
The finding, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, underlines the importance of using antibodies from recovered patients to treat critically ill people who fail to respond to standard drugs, said lead author Kwok-yung Yuen, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong.
"Most (severely ill patients) come to hospital very late, on day 5 or 7 (after onset of symptoms). Our experience has been that antiviral drugs don't work very well," said Yuen.
"That's why convalescent plasma (antibodies) would have a place in saving patients who are very severely ill and not responding to Tamiflu," he told Reuters. Read more>>