Putnam Valley, NY. -- The use of central nervous system fetal tissues derived from routine elective abortions to provide stem cells for transplantation procedures aimed at restoring damage done by neurodegenerative diseases is an established therapy. However, fetal tissue microbial contaminants have been known to cause brain infections in cell transplantation recipients. Now, a research team from Germany has developed a "washing" technique that decontaminates the fetal tissues from which stem cells are derived.
The study appears as an early e-publication for the journal Cell Transplantation, and is now freely available on-line at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/ct/pre-prints/ct1020piroth.
"Fetal neural tissue transplantation has become a potential treatment option for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD)," explained study co-author Dr. Guido Nikkah of the Department of Neurosurgery, Erlangen University Clinic, Erlangen, Germany. "However, in Europe neural transplantation of fetal tissue must be performed in accordance with guidelines on "Good Manufacturing Processes," which means that aspects of microbiological safety have to be investigated in detail."
According to the researchers, aborted fetal human tissues carry the risk of bacterial contamination from the abortion process and this is the contributing factor to the subsequent risk of infection to cell recipients. The researchers noted that prior to their study it was not clear whether fetal tissue contamination, or subsequent surgical contamination during cell transplantation normally had the greatest impact as potential contributing factors to microbial infection in hosts.
Their study revealed a wide range of microbial contamination in fetal tissues that could cause infections. 47.
|Contact: Robert Miranda|
Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair