Laboratory Animal Medicine

Laboratory Animal Medicine (Third Edition)

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine
2015, Pages 1371-1379
Laboratory Animal Medicine

Chapter 29 - Xenozoonoses: The Risk of Infection after Xenotransplantation rights and content

Immunological and technical advances have led to tremendous increases in the number of people potentially able to benefit from allotransplantation. Ironically, it is the success of the field that has led to a renewed interest in xenotransplantation during the past several decades. To a large part, this has occurred because of the great scarcity of human organ and tissue donors. However, it has expanded to include the use of cells from animals into humans such as porcine islet cells for diabetes or extracorporeal perfusion of human blood through animal organs or cells. Similar to allotransplantation, issues regarding transmission of infections from the graft to the human recipient were brought up for consideration with these procedures in the 1990s (Michaels and Simmons, 1994; Chapman et al., 1995; Hammel et al., 1998; Fishman et al., 1998). A risk for infection exists with the use of any biologic agent regardless of whether it is from a human or an animal source. Accordingly, transmission of infections from human organs, tissues, or cells is a well-recognized cause of disease after allotransplantation (Ison and Grossi, 2013; Green and Michaels, 2012). As the human graft shortage continues, newer cellular therapies are explored. Thus, attention continues to be given to the potential use of xenogeneic organs, tissues, or cells for human maladies through xenotransplantation. The potential for novel zoonotic infections to emerge because of xenotransplantation (xenozoonoses or xenosis) led to a debate on whether the field should be permitted to progress. This chapter reviews the issues of xenotransplantation related to infections from animals to humans. Lessons learned from infections with prior nonhuman primate xenotransplantation and human allotransplantation are used to help inform about risks with newer xenogeneic procedures. In addition, information on known zoonoses is reviewed to better develop constructs to decrease the hazard of infection with these novel procedures.


Cross-species infections
Non-viral Agents
SPF herds


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