Transplant: Pig kidney successfully attached to a human

Transplantation
Pig kidney successfully attached to a human

In this September 2021 photo courtesy of NYU Langone Health, a team of surgeons examines a pig kidney at a hospital. Photo: Joe Carrotta / NYU Langone Health / AP / dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

According to reports, a New York transplant team succeeded in connecting a pig kidney to a human organism for more than two days. That gives hope to a lot of people.

A New York transplant team claims to have attached a pig kidney to a human for more than two days.

The organ was said to have been connected to the bloodstream outside the body on the leg of a brain-dead person for 54 hours and started to work there “almost immediately” and to form the metabolic product creatinine.

The newspaper “USA Today” and the “New York Times” reported, citing the Langone clinic group in New York. The pig was genetically modified to reduce the likelihood of kidney rejection.

Transplant gives hope to many people

The high-profile transplant could provide hope for many people who depend on donor organs. For some time now, scientists have been trying to breed organs in pigs that can be used by humans – in addition to kidneys, hearts and lungs as well. The operation carried out in New York in September by a team led by Robert Montgomery, however, leaves a few questions unanswered, especially about the organ’s longevity. In addition, the findings have not yet been published in any specialist magazine.

Another step in xenotransplantation

Expert Joachim Denner from the Free University of Berlin spoke of a “further step” in the field of xenotransplantation, ie the transfer of cells or organs from one species to another. But he also made it clear that 54 hours was too short “to make statements about immunological rejection or the possible transmission of swine viruses”.

The history of the development of xenografts is long and marked by rainfall. The case of Baby Fae, who received a baboon heart in California in 1984, was particularly spectacular. It died three weeks after the operation.

dpa

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