Virus safety of islet cell transplantation from transgenic pigs to marmosets

Elena Plotzki, Lelia Wolf van Buerck, Yvonne Knauf, Tamara Becker, Kerstin Maetz-Rensing, Marion Schuster, Andrea Baehr, Nikolai Klymiuk, Eckhard Wolf, Jochen Seissler, Joachim Denner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Transplantation of pig islet cells for the treatment of diabetes may be a more effective approach compared with the application of insulin. However, before introduction into the clinic, efficacy and safety of this treatment have to be shown. Non-human primate models may be used for this, despite the fact that they are characterised by several limitations. Here we investigate the prevalence of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs), which are present in the genome of all pigs and which may infect human cells, as well as of porcine herpes viruses in donor pigs and their potential transmission to non-human primate recipients. Despite the fact that all three subtypes of PERV were present in all and porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV) was found in some of the pigs, neither PERVs nor PCMV were found in the recipient animals under the experimental conditions applied. Porcine lymphotropic herpes viruses (PLHV) were not found in the donor pigs, hepatitis E virus (HEV) was not found in the recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalVirus Research
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Porcine endogenous retroviruses
  • Porcine hepatitis E virus
  • Porcine herpes viruses
  • Virus safety
  • Xenotransplantation


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