Written Answers. - Xenotransplantation Research.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

523 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will report on the position of breeding pigs for the provision of organs in xenotransplants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1528/99]

In my reply to a parliamentary question, I stated that I was aware that international research into xenotransplantation has been ongoing for some years and has concentrated on the development of transgenic animals, primarily pigs with human genes, and on measures to combat the risk of infection and organ rejection. Clinical interest in this option has been prompted mainly because of the shortage of human donor organs worldwide.

There are no proposals under consideration within my Department to introduce xenotransplantation in Ireland. The matter is being kept under review by my Department and will be closely monitored in the context of development needs for national transplantation services.