In the 1995 movie “Outbreak,” doctors whip up a serum from monkey blood in just days to cure people of the fictional Motaba virus. In the more recent “Maze Runner” series, the teenaged protagonists find a cure for a zombifying virus in the blood of a companion who was immune.
Blood-plasma-based cures aren’t just the stuff of movies. There’s plenty of science to back the idea that blood products from survivors of viral diseases — containing antibodies primed against the virus — can jump-start an immune response in new patients. Most recently, the state-owned China National Biotec Group said it had successfully treated Covid-19 coronavirus patients with plasma from survivors.