Porcine Virus a Suspect in Man's Death After Pig Heart Transplant
The heart from a genetically modified pig transplanted to a Maryland patient in January in a pioneering, acclaimed, and widely critiqued surgery appears to have carried an unwanted passenger. A porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV) in the heart had gone undetected before the operation and may or may not have been instrumental in David Bennett's death 2 months later, describes a report published May 4 in MIT Technology Review.
@sayantan As described in the story, the xenotransplant saga's new twist comes from the surgeon who performed the operation, Bartley P. Griffith, MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, who related the PCMV finding in an April 20 online presentation hosted by the American Society of Transplantation. Bennett's initially promising but later turbulent clinical course, described by his surgeons and widely reported upon his death, included repeated skirmishes with infection and retaliatory adjustments to his immunosuppressant regimen. Those episodes were thought to have contributed to his death, the actual cause of which is undetermined or at least not yet reported.