Pre-screening of miniature swine may reduce the risk of transmitting human tropic recombinant porcine endogenous retroviruses

Ralph D. Hector, Sharon Meikle, Louise Grant, Robert A. Wilkinson, Jay A. Fishman, Linda Scobie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: It has been reported that peripheral blood mononuclear cells from miniature swine are capable of transmitting human tropic porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) recombinants to both human and pig cells. It has been suggested that these recombinants are exogenous and/or driven by one or more critical loci present in the pig genome.
Methods and Results: Genomic analysis of a miniature swine capable of transmitting human tropic replication competent (HTRC) recombinant PERV-A/C identified a PERV-C provirus in a region with homology to sequences located on chromosome 7. In “null” swine, incapable of in vitro transmission of PERV to human or pig cells, amplification using specific primers revealed that only two of five animals retained this locus in comparison to a total of five out of five transmitters (recombinant PERV-A/C transmission to both human and pig cells) and seven out of seven non-transmitters (replication of non-recombinant PERV in pig cells only).
Conclusion: These data suggest that further analysis of these loci may provide a genetic basis for identifying pigs that are less likely to transmit human tropic PERV and would, therefore, be more suitable as source animals for human xenotransplantation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-226
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2007



  • xenotransplantation
  • animal diseases
  • PERV
  • porcine endogenous retrovirus

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