The pig as a potential organ donor for man: A study of potentially transferable disease from donor pig to recipient man

Academic Article


  • Ten pigs, reared in an unmodified laboratory animal house environment, have been investigated to ascertain the incidence of diseases or disorders, including infection, neoplasia, or metabolic abnormalities, that might preclude the transplantation of major organs from the pig to man. Noninvasive studies were performed in the second month of life (study 1) and repeated after an interval that varied between 3 and 5½ months (study 2). Necropsy was then performed as a means of assessing the accuracy of the 2 screening examinations. A total of 150 tests were performed on each pig. At both studies the feces contained cysts and/or trophozoites of several parasites, all of which were considered commensals. No other organisms potentially infective for man were identified either at study or at necropsy. Neither congenital anomalies nor malignant neoplasia was found at necropsy. However, in 2 pigs a vasculitis of uncertain etiology was present in the kidneys on microscopic examination, and in one of these the same condition affected the heart. This pathology was suspected neither from the screening examinations nor from the macroscopic appearance of these organs. Biopsy and microscopic examination would therefore appear to be essential before any organ is transplanted into a human. © 1994 by Williams and Wilkins.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Transplantation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ye Y; Niekrasz M; Kosanke S; Welsh R; Jordan HE; Fox JC; Edwards WC; Maxwell C; Cooper DKC
  • Start Page

  • 694
  • End Page

  • 703
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 5