Porcine pathogens and xenotransplantation: PERV and beyond!

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concerns regarding the transmission of potentially zoonotic porcine viruses via a xenotransplant have prompted a significant number of studies on methods to eliminate or prevent expression and transmission of these viruses. The main focus of these studies, to date, has been the porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV); PERV is a genetically acquired element and present in the genome of all swine. This situation is problematic as it cannot simply be eliminated from swine by using methods currently employed to exclude exogenous pathogens in barrier facilities. As such, alternative strategies have been sought to circumvent the potential risk of PERV expression and transmission via a xenotransplant, however, there are other existing and emerging pathogens of concern that should be addressed when using this novel technology in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-120
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • xenotransplantation
  • retrovirus infection
  • pigs


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