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  • Context (IE): The first recipient of a modified pig kidney transplant passed away around two months after the surgery was carried out. 
  • Xenotransplantation is any procedure that involves the transplantation, implantation or infusion into a human recipient of either:
    1. Live cells, tissues, or organs from a nonhuman animal source, or
    2. Human body fluids, cells, tissues or organs that have had ex vivo contact with live nonhuman animal cells, tissues or organs.
  • Benefits: It could help provide an alternative supply of organs to those with life-threatening diseases.
  • Concerns: Potential cross-species transmission of undetected or unidentified animal infectious agents to patients that could, in turn, be transmitted to the general public, immune rejection, uncertain efficacy/viability.

Why are pigs often used for xenotransplantation?

  • The pig’s anatomical and physiological parameters are similar to that of humans, and the breeding of pigs in farms is widespread and cost-effective.
  • Also, many varieties of pig breeds are farmed, which provides an opportunity for the size of the harvested organs to be matched with the specific needs of the human recipient.

xenotransplantation - PMF IAS

Credit: BBC

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