In early January 2022, for the first time, a human had a pig’s heart implanted – and survived the operation itself, which was performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
David Bennet got a pig’s heart – died two months later
patients David Bennett57, initially seemed fine the first few weeks after receiving the historic heart transplant, but his condition suddenly took a dramatic turn for the worse, MIT Technology Review reported on Wednesday.
The pig may have carried a virus – which may be Bennet’s cause of death
Dr. Bartley Griffith, the surgeon who performed the transplant, believes that subsequent tests showed that the transplanted pig’s heart was infected with porcine cytomegalovirus. The virus can, in pigs, cause a wide range of symptoms, ranging from pink eyes and sneezing to pregnancy complications and stillbirths.
The virus has previously been linked to unsuccessful pig organ transplants in baboons.
According to Griffith, the virus, which had not been detected before the transplant, may have contributed to Bennett’s death, reported MIT Technology Review.