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Virology. 2001 Jul 5;285(2):177-80.

Productive infection of human primary cells and cell lines with porcine endogenous retroviruses.

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Robert Koch-Institute, Nordufer 20, Berlin, D-13353, Germany.


Porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) infect human cells in vitro and therefore represent a risk for xenotransplantation. However, first clinical transplantations of pig cells into humans or ex vivo perfusions did not result in transmission of PERVs. On the other hand, recent experiments with SCID mice demonstrated infections with PERV in vivo. In order to define and characterize human target cells, we studied numerous primary human cells and cell lines. Infection with PERVs was shown for human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, primary endothelial cells, and primary aortic smooth muscle cells as well as lymphocytic, monocytic, and epithelial cell lines.

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