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Open AccessCommunication

Transmission of Porcine Circovirus 3 (PCV3) by Xenotransplantation of Pig Hearts into Baboons

Robert Koch Institute, HIV and other retroviruses, 13353 Berlin, Germany
Department of Anaesthesiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 81377 Munich, Germany
Walter Brendel Centre of Experimental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 81377 Munich, Germany
Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany
Robert Koch Institute, Robert Koch Fellow, 13353 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 650;
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
PDF [833 KB, uploaded 16 July 2019]
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Porcine circovirus 3 (PCV3) is a newly described member of the virus family Circoviridae. PCV3 is highly distributed among pigs and wild boars worldwide. A sudden introduction of PCV3 was recently observed in a herd of triple genetically modified pigs generated for xenotransplantation. These animals were used as donor pigs for orthotopic heart transplantation into baboons. In four cases, PCV3-positive hearts were transplanted, and transmission of PCV3 to the recipient was observed. PCV3 was found in all organs of the recipient baboons and a higher virus load was found in animals with a longer survival time of the transplant, indicating replication of the virus. This is the first report showing trans-species transmission of PCV3 to baboons by transplantation of a heart from a PCV3-positive donor pig. Sequence analysis showed that PCV3a and PCV3b were present in the infected pigs and were transmitted. Experiments to infect human 293 cells with PCV3 failed. View Full-Text
Keywords: porcine circovirus 3 (PCV3); pigs; non-human primates; xenotransplantation porcine circovirus 3 (PCV3); pigs; non-human primates; xenotransplantation

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Krüger, L.; Längin, M.; Reichart, B.; Fiebig, U.; Kristiansen, Y.; Prinz, C.; Kessler, B.; Egerer, S.; Wolf, E.; Abicht, J.-M.; Denner, J. Transmission of Porcine Circovirus 3 (PCV3) by Xenotransplantation of Pig Hearts into Baboons. Viruses 2019, 11, 650.

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