The deceased man, after a pig heart transplant, discovered an animal virus – Human – Science and Technology

Traces of a swine virus have been found in the body of a deceased man who was the first person to be transplanted with animal hearts, The New York Times reported.

Fifty-seven-year-old David Bennett died this March. The pig virus may have contributed to the failure of his new heart and subsequent death.

The detection of an animal virus in a human body with a pig organ raises concerns about animal organ transplantation. According to critics, their widespread use could facilitate the passage of animal pathogens to humans.

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Bennettovi in January this year, doctors transplanted a pig’s heart that had been genetically modified so that the man’s body could receive the organ. As the body did not immediately reject the new heart, the case raised hopes that animal organs could once be used extensively for life-saving transplant procedures.

According to doctors at the University of Maryland, the pig has been tested several times for viruses. However, such tests only reveal active infections, not dormant viruses that may have been hidden in the animal.

Swine cytomegalovirus doctors first discovered Bennett 20 days after a heart transplant. However, the amount was so small that it was considered a laboratory error. About 40 days after the operation, Bennett’s condition worsened and the amount of virus identified in his body increased sharply.

“The presence of the DNA virus in a patient’s body may have contributed to a sudden deterioration in his condition,” Bartley Griffith, a doctor at the University of Maryland University Hospital, told The New York Times. “But there was no evidence that the patient developed an active infection or that his body rejected the (transplanted) heart,” Griffith said. “The sleeping virus could have passed from the pig into the patient’s body through the transplanted heart,” he added.

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Doctors began giving the men antiviral drugs and immunoglobulin, but the new heart filled with fluid, doubled in volume, and stopped working, so Bennett had to be connected to the extracorporeal circulation and died on March 8.

Dr. Griffith and his colleague Muhammad Mohiuddin told The New York Times on Thursday that Bennett’s death “saddened them but did not deter them from using animal organs to save lives.” “It simply came to our notice then. We know what happened and we will probably be able to avoid it in the future, “said Griffith.


Source: Pravda – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.

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