To prevent microbial infection in cell transplantation hosts, the researchers developed and tested a microbial "washing" technique. In laboratory tests using rats as transplantation hosts, the technique has been shown to eliminate microbial contamination. Based on the technique's success in decontaminating fetal tissue cells transplanted into laboratory animals, the washing technique was subsequently used in clinical practice.
"To date, more than 350 PD and approximately 100 HD patients have received primary fetal grafts, and so far no contamination has been reported," said Dr. Nikkah.
The researchers noted that although the risk of infection is very low after their procedure, they still recommend antibiotic prophylaxis.
"Detection of a relevant microbial contamination within the narrow time-window prior to transplantation remains difficult," concluded the authors. "While contamination of the transportation fluid is not an exclusion criterion for tissue transplantation, detection of contamination after washing steps is critical."
"The potentially deleterious impact of microbial contamination on the use of cells or tissues for transplantation is an important health factor that cannot be ignored." said Dr. Shinn-Zong Lin, professor of Neurosurgery and superintendent at the China Medical University Hospital, Beigang, Taiwan. "Procedures to reduce the likelihood of contamination such as that described within this paper are therefore of great importance."
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Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair