Porcine cytomegalovirus in pigs being bred for xenograft organs: progress towards control

Clark, D.A., Fryer, J.F.L., Tucker, A.W., McArdle, P.D., Hughes, A.E., Emery, V.C. and Griffiths, P.D. (2003) Porcine cytomegalovirus in pigs being bred for xenograft organs: progress towards control. Xenotransplantation, 10(2), pp. 142-148. (doi:10.1034/j.1399-3089.2003.01128.x) (PMID:12588647)

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Abstract

In human medicine, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is readily transmitted by organ transplant causing end-organ disease and triggering graft rejection in recipients. Because of a chronic shortage of human organs, pigs transgenic for human complement control proteins are being considered as potential donors. Such xenotransplantation raises concerns about the potential zoonotic transmission of viruses including porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV), an endemic infection of pigs. Similar to HCMV and PCMV transmission is thought to occur in utero and perinatally. We used quantitative polymerase chain reaction to examine the prevalence, organ distribution and viral load of PCMV in human decay accelerating factor (CD55) transgenic pigs. In animals reared under conventional farm conditions, virus was identified in a wide range of organs including potential xenografts (liver, kidney and heart). The spleen was PCMV DNA positive in all infected pigs. Examination of foetal spleens failed to identify evidence of transplacental infection and prospective monitoring of two litters showed that infection occurred in the postnatal period. This transmission was prevented by hysterotomy derivation and barrier rearing. Our findings demonstrate that PCMV could be eradicated from pig herds being bred for xenotransplantation and argue that the spleen from donor animals should be examined as part of quality control procedures if clinical trials proceed.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Dr Duncan
Authors: Clark, D.A., Fryer, J.F.L., Tucker, A.W., McArdle, P.D., Hughes, A.E., Emery, V.C., and Griffiths, P.D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Xenotransplantation
Publisher:Blackwell
ISSN:0908-665X
ISSN (Online):1399-3089

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