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Viruses 2014, 6(5), 2062-2083; doi:10.3390/v6052062
Review

Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses in Xenotransplantation—Molecular Aspects

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Received: 30 January 2014 / Revised: 15 April 2014 / Accepted: 26 April 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endogenous Viruses)
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Abstract

In the context of the shortage of organs and other tissues for use in human transplantation, xenotransplantation procedures with material taken from pigs have come under increased consideration. However, there are unclear consequences of the potential transmission of porcine pathogens to humans. Of particular concern are porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs). Three subtypes of PERV have been identified, of which PERV-A and PERV-B have the ability to infect human cells in vitro. The PERV-C subtype does not show this ability but recombinant PERV-A/C forms have demonstrated infectivity in human cells. In view of the risk presented by these observations, the International Xenotransplantation Association recently indicated the existence of four strategies to prevent transmission of PERVs. This article focuses on the molecular aspects of PERV infection in xenotransplantation and reviews the techniques available for the detection of PERV DNA, RNA, reverse transcriptase activity and proteins, and anti-PERV antibodies to enable carrying out these recommendations. These methods could be used to evaluate the risk of PERV transmission in human recipients, enhance the effectiveness and reliability of monitoring procedures, and stimulate discussion on the development of improved, more sensitive methods for the detection of PERVs in the future.
Keywords: porcine endogenous retroviruses; xenotransplantation; molecular techniques; detection porcine endogenous retroviruses; xenotransplantation; molecular techniques; detection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kimsa, M.C.; Strzalka-Mrozik, B.; Kimsa, M.W.; Gola, J.; Nicholson, P.; Lopata, K.; Mazurek, U. Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses in Xenotransplantation—Molecular Aspects. Viruses 2014, 6, 2062-2083.

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