Pig virus may have been factor in death of man who received pig heart transplant, researchers say

Kyle

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A major worry about animal-to-human transplants is the risk that it could introduce new kinds of infections to people


A pig virus may have contributed to the death of a man who was the first person to have received a heart transplant from a pig, though the evidence is inconclusive, researchers say.

David Bennett Sr., 57, of Maryland, died in March, just two months after the groundbreaking experimental transplant. University of Maryland doctors said Thursday they found viral DNA inside the pig heart. They did not find signs that this bug, called "porcine cytomegalovirus," was causing an active infection.

A major worry about animal-to-human transplants is the risk that it could introduce new kinds of infections to people. Griffith told The Associated Press that some viruses can be a "hitchhiker" because they lurk without causing diseases. Now, researchers are pursuing more tests to ensure they don’t miss these kinds of viruses.




 
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