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Open Access Experience of Microbiological Screening of Human Hepatocytes for Clinical Transplantation

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Hepatocyte transplantation is being used in patients with liver-based metabolic disorders and acute liver failure. Hepatocytes are isolated from unused donor liver tissue under GMP conditions. Cells must be free of microbiological contamination to be safe for human use. The experience of microbiological screening during 72 hepatocyte isolation procedures at one center is reported. Samples were taken at different stages of the process and tested using a blood culture bottle system and Gram stain. Bacterial contamination was detected in 37.5% of the UW organ preservative solutions used to transport the liver tissue to the Cell Isolation Unit. After tissue processing the contamination was reduced to 7% overall in the final hepatocyte product, irrespective of the presence of initial contamination of the transport solution. The most common organisms recovered were coagulase-negative staphylococci, a skin commensal. A total of 41 preparations of fresh or cryopreserved hepatocytes were used for cell transplantation in children with liver-based metabolic disorders without any evidence of sepsis due to infusion of hepatocytes. In conclusion, the incidence of bacterial contamination of the final product was low, confirming the suitability of the organs used, hepatocyte isolation procedure, and the environmental conditions of the clean room.

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Keywords: Bacteria; Contamination; Human hepatocytes; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Liver Studies, King's College London School of Medicine, King's College Hospital, London, UK

Publication date: 2009-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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