Pig virus transfer threatens xenotransplantation

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 01 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:623
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. BMJ

    Pig retroviruses can infect human cells in laboratory conditions and replicate themselves, researchers have discovered. The finding will affect the future of xenotransplantation–the transfer of animal tissue into humans.

    Earlier this year the British authorities decided that more research was needed before trials to transplant pig organs into humans could go ahead (25 January, p 247). One of the main concerns expressed in the advisory committee's report, Animal Tissue into Humans, was the possibility that animal viruses may be transferred to humans. However, in the United States pressure from the transplant community has …

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