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Clin Biochem. 2001 Feb;34(1):23-7.

Monitoring xenotransplant recipients for infection by PERV.

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  • 1Porcine Endogenous Retrovirus Research Group, Imutran Ltd (A Novartis Pharma AG Co), PO Box 399, CB2 2YP, Cambridge, UK.



Concerns have been raised over the possibility of transmission of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) to porcine xenograft recipients.


To help assess this risk, diagnostic assays capable of detection of an active, latent or cleared PERV infection, and the presence of pig cell microchimerism have been developed by a number of groups. Retrospective studies of patients exposed to living pig tissues have been performed using these assays to look for evidence of cross species transmission.


To date no evidence of PERV infection has been found in studies of humans exposed to pig tissues, despite evidence of long lived microchimerism.


These data suggest that PERV infection has not occurred in a clinical setting. However, as infection has been seen in a small animal model further investigation of the risk from PERV is warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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