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Pig Organs in the Human Body: An old controversy over the transplant returns



  Xenotransplantation, xenograft pigs, pig-to-human transplantation, animal-to-human transplantation, Sir Terence English
1997, heart surgeon dr. Dhani Ram Baruah, together with the Hong Kong surgeon Dr. Jonathan Ho Kei-shing performed a heart and lung transplant from pig to human. (Representative)

Last week, transplant surgeon pioneer Sir Terence English, who conducted the first heart transplant in Britain in 1979, said his team would transplant a kidney's kidney into a human's body this year. And in three years, he claimed, a heart transplant could be achieved.

The statements opened an old controversy about xenotransplantation or the transplantation of organs from one species to another. There is a precedent of years ago – 1997 – with an attempt of a heart transplant from pig to human in India.

The doctor in Assam was detained for 40 days following an unethical procedure. Nevertheless, many hope in the potential of xenotransplantation to save lives.

Animal-to-Human Transplants

The first attempts to perform animal-to-human transplants were undertaken in 1838, when the cornea, a pig was transplanted into a human. Between 1902 and 1923 organs of pigs, goats, sheep and monkeys were used in unsuccessful transplantation experiments. From 1963, the researchers attempted organ transplantation of chimpanzees, baboons and pigs. In 1984, a two-week-old baby received a baboon heart in the US but died within three weeks.

Fearing the transmission of viruses from animals to humans, xenotransplantation has long been an area that governments and physicians care for with caution. The researchers are now trying to genetically modify pigs to enable organ transplantation in humans.

Animal Organs Must Be Investigated

The need for organ donation is increasing worldwide along with increases in kidney, liver and heart discomfort. "Several are dying while waiting for an organ donation," Dr. Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Director of the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization, West India.

In India, 1,945 liver transplants and 7,936 kidney transplants were performed in 2018 India requires 1.8 to 2 lakh kidney transplants each year, according to the Department of Health and Family Welfare. Given the lack of human bodies as donors, researchers consider animal organs as an alternative.

"In India, this is a distant dream, as the Animal Rights Act does not even allow us to experiment," said heart transplant surgeon Dr Anvay Mulay.

Why pigs especially?

The genome and internal organs of a pig are similar to those of a human being. Its weight, inclination to obesity, lipids, arterial pressure, heart rate, kidney function, electrolyte balance and digestive system are consistent with that of the human body.

The problem is that the rejection rate in a pig is higher-human transplantation than in a human-to-human transplant. "Repulsion" is what happens when the immune system of the human body begins to act against a foreign organ. In a human-to-human transplant, immunosuppressants help the body accept the foreign organ as its own. However, immunosuppressants have shown no effect in animal-to-human transplantations.

The kidney transplant expert "These are substances against which the human body produces antibodies and repels the organ. It's called antigenicity. The lower the antigenicity, the better. " Rajput.

The attempt of 1997 in Assam

In 1997, the cardiac surgeon dr. Dhani Ram Baruah together with the Hong Kong surgeon dr. Jonathan Ho Kei Shing performed a heart and lung transplant from pig to human at the Baruah Clinic in Sonapur, on the outskirts of Guwahati. It was a premiere in India.

In an email, Baruah told The Indian Express that "he has developed a new biochemical solution to hyperacute rejection to treat the donor's heart and lungs and blind his immune system to prevent rejection ".

In 102 experimental studies at the Baruah Institute, the transplant was performed on Jan. 1 on the 32-year-old farmer Purno Saikia. Saikia died a week later; The autopsy revealed an infection. The transplant caused an international flutter. Baruah and Kei-shing were arrested within 14 days for culpable murder and after the Transplantation of Human Organs Act of 1994 and detained for 40 days. The government of Assam has opened an investigation and found the case unethical.

Recent Investigations, Procedures

Researchers have attempted to replace porcine kidney proteins with human proteins so that the human body does not reject the organ. The Institute of Biosciences of the University of São Paulo carries out experiments on the genetic modification of pigs. At a symposium in February this year, geneticist Mayana Zatz said that pigs have three genes that cause rejection when transplanted into a human body. A genetic modification of these could solve the problem.

In the US, pig hearts were transplanted into baboons that survived for two years, with the pig hearts beating next to their own. Genetic engineering is used in pigs at the Massachusetts General Hospital before their organs are transplanted to monkeys in the hope that these techniques can later be tried on humans. Countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Russia, Ukraine and Mexico are doing similar research.

The Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines only allow animal-to-animal transplants. Kochi-based hand transplant surgeon Dr. Ing. Subramania Iyer said the volume of xenotransplantation will be discussed next month at the Asian Society of Transplantation Conference in New Delhi. Sir Terence English commented on the 40th anniversary of the first heart transplant in the UK. The Sunday Telegraph quoted him as saying his protégé was preparing to perform the world's first kidney transplant from pig to human before the end of this year.

"When it works with a kidney, it works with a heart. That will change the subject, "said Sir Terence, 87, the newspaper. Back in Assam, Baruah, an associate of the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians, claims that he made a breakthrough and was suppressed by the International Brotherhood.

Asked about the UK's renewed attempts, he said: "This news Recently, the same old wine was bottled in a new bottle. I said it all 24 years ago. "


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