Pig Heart transplant recipient dies of Cytomegalovirus (porcine) triggered cytokine storm

Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
To keep tabs on the health of the pig heart, Griffith said, the team was constantly checking their patient with an array of cutting-edge blood tests. They used a DNA sequencer to scan his blood for floating fragments of pig genes—any increase would be a sign that heart cells were dying. Another novel test, developed by a company called Karius, screened Bennett’s blood for traces of hundreds of bacteria and viruses.

It was that test, run on a blood draw taken from Bennett 20 days after his surgery, that first returned “a little blip” indicating the presence of porcine cytomegalovirus, according to Griffith. But the levels were so low that the team thought the result could be in error, Griffith said, especially since the pigs were supposedly guaranteed free of the germ.

The doctors faced another problem—the special blood test was taking about 10 days to carry out. So they couldn’t yet know that inside Bennett’s new heart, the pig virus was starting to multiply fast and setting off what Griffith now believes was a possible “cytokine explosion”—a storm of immune-system molecules.

And if I'm reading it right, that's exactly what happened. Dr. Cheney also thought (thinks?) the heart was involved in ME/CFS. And many researchers are trying to map out the cytokine storm or fingerprint for it. The devil's in the details though because if it's multiple viruses, or if it's coming from undercooked meat, or god forbid, vaccines badly purified, then it won't be a single fingerprint. Not to beat a dead horse but this does make MLV's suspicious again (viruses from mouse blood). I'd never thought to look for the search term "baboons with pig heart transplants" before, but maybe it's a thing?


Active Member
Yep, but if we speculate further, for people with ME/CFS it could be almost any virus really that is able to establish some form of chronic infection and that infection is most likely to be established in immune privileged places like the brain or other somewhat closed systems like the heart, which has a lot of long-lived cells that your immune system cannot aggressively kill. And further, it could be any such virus really as enteroviruses and lately coronaviruses have all been speculated to establish chronic infection.

Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
Even a bacteria. Campylobacter, which is somehow involved in triggering Giulian Barre Syndrome, is a fascinating little creature.

But Occam's razor says the first place to look is at people who don't clear Epstein Barr Virus for whatever reason. Chronic mono is obviously similar.

While I can't really be vegan any more, I don't go for fancy cooking either. I view all meat as being alive and teeming with unknown bacteria and viruses just waiting to attack my gut. It all gets fully cooked into stews mainly.

Get Our Free ME/CFS and FM Blog!

Forum Tips

Support Our Work



Shopping on Amazon.com For HR

Latest Resources