Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animal To Human Transplantation -- Future Potential, Present Risk

Date:
May 5, 2005
Source:
World Health Organization
Summary:
Transplantation of animal organs, living cells and tissues into humans is termed xenotransplantation. Recent experiments have shown that the transplantation of organs from genetically modified pigs into baboons can yield moderate to good results and this raises hopes for the future of organ transplantation from pigs to humans.

Transplantation of animal organs, living cells and tissues into humans is termed xenotransplantation. Recent experiments have shown that the transplantation of organs from genetically modified pigs into baboons can yield moderate to good results and this raises hopes for the future of organ transplantation from pigs to humans.

However these, along with existing claims of treatments for diabetes or neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease, are still at a very embryonic phase. Apart from a few simple, established procedures such as the treatment of severe burns with human skin cells cultured with mouse cells, xenotransplantation today is only acceptable in very tightly controlled human trials.

An advisory group of international experts has recently met at the World Health Organization (WHO) to discuss progress made in xenotransplantation. The main objective of the meeting was to propose ways in which the health agency can assist countries to implement stronger policies to control the practice and enforce quality and safety measures while still promoting further research into its potential uses.

The main risk in xenotransplantation is the transmission of diseases. Many serious infections in human history have originated in animals. Once a new pathogen is introduced in one individual, it may spread to the larger population.

To manage that risk, several countries have developed rigorous guidelines and oversight procedures for the performance of xenotransplantation. However, xenotransplantation is also carried out in countries that lack such oversight and where materials and procedures used have not undergone any quality and safety controls. This means there is no proof of the quality of source animals and no monitoring of the recipient, leaving no guarantee of the safety of the procedures for the patient. The problem is globalized when individuals travel to a country where xenotransplantation has no adequate oversight. The WHO advisory group notes that any xenotransplantation performed in countries without adequate oversight poses unacceptable infectious public health risks and should be stopped. International cooperation is clearly of paramount importance in the promotion of high standards for xenotransplantation across all regions. Without such oversight the efforts to minimize risks in some countries will be undermined due to increasing numbers of people travelling to countries with less stringent laws.

The potential for such risks led the Member States of WHO to adopt a resolution addressing xenotransplantation in 2004. The resolution urges member States "to allow xenotransplantation only when effective national regulatory control and surveillance mechanisms overseen by National Health Authorities are in place."

The WHO advisory group and WHO experts have concluded that stronger measures need to be put in place by countries to stop the illegal performance of xenotransplantation and to promote harmonized quality and safety controls. To harness the real potential of this promising field, while minimizing the risks of unproven or misused practices, they have revised an action plan to assist Member States to implement the WHO resolution by:

* updating a compendium of guidelines and recommendations for national health authorities and regulatory bodies to deal with xenotransplantation;

* improving methods for the collection and dissemination of information on xenotransplantation practices -- successes and potential risks;

* raising greater awareness among national health authorities and promoting high ethical standards and well regulated practices.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Health Organization. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Health Organization. "Animal To Human Transplantation -- Future Potential, Present Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050504192156.htm>.
World Health Organization. (2005, May 5). Animal To Human Transplantation -- Future Potential, Present Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050504192156.htm
World Health Organization. "Animal To Human Transplantation -- Future Potential, Present Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050504192156.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins