2017-04-20Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/v9040083
Porcine Circoviruses and Xenotransplantation
Allotransplantation and xenotransplantation may be associated with the transmission of pathogens from the donor to the recipient. Whereas in the case of allotransplantation the transmitted microorganisms and their pathogenic effect are well characterized, the possible influence of porcine microorganisms on humans is mostly unknown. Porcine circoviruses (PCVs) are common in pig breeds and they belong to porcine microorganisms that still have not been fully addressed in terms of evaluating the potential risk of xenotransplantation using pig cells, tissues, and organs. Two types of PCVs are known: porcine circovirus (PCV) 1 and PCV2. Whereas PCV1 is apathogenic in pigs, PCV2 may induce severe pig diseases. Although most pigs are subclinically infected, we do not know whether this infection impairs pig transplant functionality, particularly because PCV2 is immunosuppressive. In addition, vaccination against PCV2 is able to prevent diseases, but in most cases not transmission of the virus. Therefore, PCV2 has to be eliminated to obtain xenotransplants from uninfected healthy animals. Although there is evidence that PCV2 does not infect—at least immunocompetent—humans, animals should be screened using sensitive methods to ensure virus elimination by selection, Cesarean delivery, vaccination, or embryo transfer.
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