A team of US surgeons has successfully transplanted a pig’s kidney into a patient’s body without triggering immediate rejection by the immune system, a major advance that could help alleviate a severe shortage of human organ transplants.
A small step that could save thousands of lives, a pig kidney transplant was performed at New York University Langone Health, using a pig whose genes had been altered so that its tissues no longer contained a molecule known to cause immediate rejection of the transplanted organ.
The kidney recipient was a brain-dead patient with signs of impaired kidney function and her family agreed to the trial before she was separated from life support.
The new kidney was attached to the patient’s blood vessels, for 3 days, and the researchers said that the results of the transplant kidney function test “looked fairly normal”, as the kidney made the “expected amount of urine” from a transplanted human kidney, and there was no evidence of early strong rejection. which has been seen when unmodified pig kidneys are transplanted into non-human primates.
Currently, in the United States alone, approximately 107,000 people are awaiting organ transplants, including more than 90,000 awaiting kidney transplants, and average kidney waiting times are three to five years.
Was the operation successful from a medical point of view?
Does the body’s lack of rejection of the kidney at present mean that it will not reject it in the future?
And does the success of a kidney transplant mean that other organs of the pig can also be important to humans, such as the heart or liver?
Questions that we discussed, among others, in a new episode of #Whats_New with the journalist #Ashraf_Shehab,
The guest of the meeting was Dr. Saad Al-Aseel, a microbiologist and immunologist from the University of Buffalo New York, from the United States of America.
To watch the full meeting: