Safety of Pig-Human Organ Transplants Unclear -- Don't Eat Pork

Of all the species that might provide organs for humans in need of transplants, pigs have long been considered the most promising candidates.But a wider array of pig tissues appear to be infected with strains of a virus that could spread to people than previously thought. The virus,
porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV), may actually spread to people receiving pig organ transplants. Until recently, scientists believed pigs were more or less free of pathogens that could spread to people. But last year, researchers in the UK discovered that PERV genes are scattered throughout pigs' genetic material. Researchers also found that pig heart, spleen and kidney cells release various strains of the virus. And test tube studies in the laboratory show that these strains can infect human cells.

The Lancet August 29, 1998;352: 666-667, 692-701.

COMMENT: More evidence to support my assertion that there are indeed medical and not just religious reasons to avoid eating ham and bacon.

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