Use of convalescent serum reduces severity of COVID-19 in nonhuman primates

Robert W. Cross, Abhishek N. Prasad, Viktoriya Borisevich, Courtney Woolsey, Krystle N. Agans, Daniel J. Deer, Natalie S. Dobias, Joan B. Geisbert, Karla A. Fenton, Thomas W. Geisbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Passive transfer of convalescent plasma or serum is a time-honored strategy for treating infectious diseases. Human convalescent plasma containing antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently being used to treat patients with coronavirus disease 2019 where clinical efficacy trials are ongoing. Here, we assess therapeutic passive transfer in groups of SARS-CoV-2-infected African green monkeys with convalescent sera containing either high or low anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers. Differences in viral load and pathology are minimal between monkeys that receive the lower titer convalescent sera and untreated controls. However, lower levels of SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory compartments, reduced severity of virus-associated lung pathology, and reductions in coagulopathy and inflammatory processes are observed in monkeys that receive high titer sera versus untreated controls. Our data indicate that convalescent plasma therapy in humans may be an effective strategy provided that donor sera contain high anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing titers given in early stages of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108837
JournalCell Reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 9 2021


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • antibodies
  • convalescent serum
  • coronavirus
  • nonhuman primate
  • viral pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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