story

Pig Heart Used in Human Transplant was Infected with Animal Virus

    Pig Heart Used in Human Transplant was Infected with Animal Virus
    Last updated: 6 months ago
    Image credit: University of Maryland School of Medicine/Reuters [via The New York Times]

    Facts

    • Traces of a porcine virus have been found in a patient who survived for two months after receiving a transplanted heart from a pig. Medical experts have speculated that the infection could have played a role in his death. [1]
    • 57-yr-old David Bennett underwent the procedure in Jan. at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He was too ill to qualify for a human heart. [2]
    • It was the first time this type of xenotransplantation had not resulted in immediate rejection. [2]
    • Show more

    Spin

    Narrative A

    The transplant was an outstanding development that may help tackle acute organ shortages around the world.

    Narrative B

    This experimental treatment is still riddled with ethical and safety concerns and should be viewed with apprehension.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 26% chance that lab-grown organs will be successfully used for human transplant by 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Articles on this story