Anti-Pig Antibody in Infants: Can a Genetically Engineered Pig Heart Bridge to Allotransplantation?

Academic Article


  • Background: Patients with congenital heart disease have high heart transplant waitlist mortality, and mechanical support is suboptimal. To evaluate feasibility of cardiac grafts from a genetically engineered triple-knockout pig as a bridge to allotransplantation, preformed anti-pig antibodies were measured in pediatric and adult patients. Methods: Flow cytometry measured serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) or IgG binding to wild-type and triple-knockout red blood cells (RBCs), with binding to human O-negative RBCs as a negative control. Group 1 comprise 84 pediatric patients and 64 healthy adults’ sera with no previous cardiac surgery. Group 2 comprised 25 infant's sera postcardiac surgery, including 10 after palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Results: In group 1, IgM binding to wild-type RBCs occurred in 80% of sera and IgG binding occurred in in 91% of sera. Only 3% of sera showed IgM binding to triple-knockout RBCs, and 1 (<1%) was weakly positive for IgG binding. In group 2, all 25 infants demonstrated increased IgM and IgG binding to wild-type RBCs. One patient showed minimal IgM and another showed low IgG binding to triple-knockout RBCs. No infant after stage 1 Norwood demonstrated any IgG or IgM binding. Conclusions: Preformed anti-pig antibodies may not be a barrier to heart xenotransplantation in infants, even after cardiac surgery. With adequate immunosuppressive therapy, a triple-knockout pig heart transplant might function successfully as a bridge to allotransplantation.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Li Q; Hara H; Banks CA; Yamamoto T; Ayares D; Mauchley DC; Dabal RJ; Padilla L; Carlo WF; Rhodes LA
  • Start Page

  • 1268
  • End Page

  • 1273
  • Volume

  • 109
  • Issue

  • 4