Department of Microbiology and Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Student Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Department of Microbiology and Virology, School of Medicine, Jiroft University of Medical Sciences, Jiroft, Iran.
BACKGROUND Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) is one of the well-known therapeutic protocols for treating infectious diseases that do not have special treatment nor vaccine. Several documents confirm the clinical efficacy of this therapy for treating bacterial and viral infections. METHODS A comprehensive systematic search was conducted by August 2020 using global databases including PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane library, Google scholar,
medRxiv, and bioRxiv. The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal checklist was used to evaluate the included studies. Using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) software version 2.2 (Biostat, Englewood, NJ, USA), the pooled data analysis process was performed. RESULTS A total of 15 eligible articles were enrolled in the current quantitative synthesis. The statistical analysis showed that clinical improvement in the group of patients who had received convalescent plasma was significantly increased compared to the control group (OR: 2.23; 1.12-4.45 with 95% CIs; p value: 0.022; Q-value: 6.11; I (2) : 83.64; Eggers p value: 0.064; Beggs p value: 0.093). Furthermore, the rate of hospital discharge had increased in patients receiving CPT (OR: 2.92; 1.48-5.77 with 95% CIs; p value: 0.002; Q-Value: 4.32; I (2) : 53.80; Eggers p value: 0.32; Beggs p value: 0.50). CONCLUSIONS Because there is currently no fully effective antiviral drug against the virus, and it will take time to confirm the effectiveness of new drugs, CPT can be used as an alternative treatment strategy to improve the severe clinical manifestations of COVID-19.