Note: this is fascinating science!
A newly developed method of inactivating hepatitis C virus (HCV) in donor lungs has the potential to increase transplantations for patients with end stage lung disease without necessitating post-transplant antiviral treatment.
“The shortage of suitable organs leads to high waiting list mortality rates. Consequently, approaches to increase organ availability are critical for realizing the maximum potential benefit of transplantation,” explained Marcelo Cypel, MD, MSc, Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories, Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues.
The investigators point out that while the use of post-transplant direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment is currently being assessed as a method of utilizing HCV-positive organs, the clearance or inactivation of the virus prior to transplantation would be a more attractive alternative. There is no rationale for DAA treatment of the lung ex-vivo, however, as viral replication is not thought to occur within the lung.