Pig heart transplanted into man had swine virus, says surgeon

After the American David Bennett became the first person to receive a heart of a pig genetically modified, it was proven that the organ had the swine virus “porcine cytomegalovirus”. The information is from g1.

Two months after the surgery, the 57-year-old man died on March 8, 2022. According to the doctor who performed the unprecedented transplantBartley Griffith, the presence of the virus in the heart may have contributed to David’s death.

The discovery was made public by MIT Technology Review and presented during an event in the United States, on April 20th.

“We are starting to understand why he passed away.”

Bartley Griffith

transplant surgeon

The doctor, who is also a transplant surgeon at University of Marylanddetailed that a test was performed 20 days after the transplant.

At the time, the presence of the swine virus was found at a very low level and, therefore, ruled out as a “laboratory error”. However, when repeating the test a month later, they realized that a virus increase in the heart.

THE reviverthe regenerative medicine company that performed the procedure, declined to comment.


Heart transplantation was one of several pioneering procedures in recent months in which pig organs genetically modified organisms were used to replace organs in humans.

The process, called xenotransplantationoffers hope for tens of thousands of patients with diseased kidneys, hearts and other organs as there is an acute shortage of donated organs.

In this house, the modification was carried out by the reviverthe same company responsible for supplying the pig used in a kidney transplant performed on a patient with brain death in New York in October 2021.

“It was either die or have this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the darkbut it’s my last option”, said Bennett before the surgery. The American had already spent months connected to a support machine life.

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