Next Article in Journal
Potential for Introduction of Bat-Borne Zoonotic Viruses into the EU: A Review
Next Article in Special Issue
Host Control of Insect Endogenous Retroviruses: Small RNA Silencing and Immune Response
Previous Article in Journal
A Novel Adenovirus in Chinstrap Penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica) in Antarctica
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Viruses 2014, 6(5), 2062-2083;

Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses in Xenotransplantation—Molecular Aspects

Department of Food and Nutrition, Medical University of Silesia, Jednosci 8, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Department of Molecular Biology, Medical University of Silesia, Jednosci 8, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [722 KB, uploaded 12 May 2015]


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. View Full-Text
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 (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Viruses EISSN 1999-4915 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top