Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Virus found in pig’s heart was transplanted into human, which later died

FRIDAY, May 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) — An investigation into the death of the first person to receive a heart transplant from a pig has shown that the organ contained an animal virus, but it’s not clear whether the virus was a factor. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center say in the patient’s death.

They found that the viral DNA inside the pig’s heart was transplanted into 57-year-old David Bennett Sr., who received the heart in January and died in March, but said there was no indication that the porcine cytomegalovirus was present. The virus named was causing an active infection. , The The Associated Press informed of. The heart came from a pig genetically modified to reduce the risk of Bennett’s immune system rejecting it.

Doctors at the University of Maryland said the donor pig was healthy, passed the required US Food and Drug Administration tests for infection, and was raised in a facility designed to prevent the animals from spreading the infection. Revvicor, the company that provides the pig, would not comment. Associated Press,

According to Bartley Griffith, MD, the groundbreaking transplant surgeon, Bennett had recovered well from the transplant, but then developed symptoms similar to an infection. Bennett was given antibiotics, antiviral medication, and a treatment to boost his immune system, but the pig’s heart swelled and eventually stopped working.

“What was the virus doing, if anything, that could have caused his heart to swell?” Griffith told Associated Press, “Honestly we don’t know.” He said it did not appear to be a specific organ rejection, and the investigation into Bennett’s death is ongoing.

A major concern about animal-to-human transplants is the risk of new types of infections being passed on to humans, according to Associated Press,

The Associated Press article


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