Improvements in xenotransplantation may significantly increase the availability of organs for human transplantation. The use of porcine organs, however, has raised concern about possible transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) to the recipients. The authors developed monoclonal antibodies specific to the PERV Gag viral product and show that these antibodies can detect PERV antigen under a variety of assay conditions, including enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Western blot, and immunofluorescence staining methods. Two patients in fulminant hepatic failure were treated by extracorporeal perfusion using transgenic porcine livers before receiving orthotopic liver transplants. Despite the use of immune suppression that allowed survival of the allograft, these patients both showed a strong immune response to the xenograft suggesting a largely intact capability to mount a humoral immune response. However, analysis of patient serum samples over a 3 to 4 year period has showed no evidence of an immune response to PERV antigens, suggesting a lack of PERV infection.