SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days


There is currently a shortage of organs available to perform allotransplants in humans, prompting the exploration of xenotransplantation as an alternative. Xenotransplantation is the transplantation of living tissues between different species, with porcine tissues being a promising option. However, concerns arise regarding cross-species transmission, particularly in relation to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERVs). PERVs are retroviruses that are integrated into the germ-line cells of pigs and are permanently embedded in the host cell’s DNA, allowing for vertical transmission. Of significant concern is the infectious nature of two PERV subtypes, A and B, to humans, which can potentially recombine with the third subtype, C. This study focuses on determining the presence of PERV-C within the domestic pig population at the Fort Hays State University (FHSU) farm. Out of 67 samples analyzed, 20 have tested positive for PERV-C, indicating a positivity rate of 30%. These findings shed light on the prevalence of PERV-C in domestic pig populations in Kansas and may have implications for xenotransplantation research aiming to mitigate the organ shortage crisis.

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Eric Gillock



Submission Type

in-person poster




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