2019-12-29Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/6555
A Comprehensive Strategy for Screening for Xenotransplantation-Relevant Viruses in a Second Isolated Population of Göttingen Minipigs
Xenotransplantation using pig tissues and organs is under development in order to alleviate the increasing shortage of human transplants. Since xenotransplantation may be associated with the transmission of porcine microorganisms to the human recipient, the donor pigs should be carefully analyzed, especially for the presence of potentially zoonotic viruses. Göttingen Minipigs (GöMP) are potential donors of islet cells for the treatment of diabetes. Despite the fact that all animals produced at Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs A/S carry porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) in their genome and that very few animals were infected with porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV), hepatitis E virus (HEV) and porcine lymphotropic herpesvirus (PLHV), no transmission of these viruses was observed in a preclinical trial transplanting GöMP islet cells into cynomolgus monkeys. Using a new comprehensive strategy, we then analyzed an isolated subpopulation of Göttingen Minipigs which remained at the University of Göttingen. We concentrated on 11 xenotransplantation-relevant viruses and combined co-incubation assays with susceptible human target cells and molecular biological methods to evaluate the risk posed by PERV. All animals in Göttingen carry PERV-A, PERV-B, and PERV-C in their genome but they are not infected with PCMV, PLHV and HEV. The difference may be explained by selection of negative animals and/or de novo infection. The PERV copy number was established using ddPCR (93 copies) and a human-tropic PERV-A/C was found released from PBMCs of one animal with a high expression of PERV-C.
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