DESPITE serological evidence of increased viral infection in organ transplant recipients1, attempts to isolate virus from donor or recipient tissues at autopsy and biopsy have been unsuccessful2-4. The fresh donor tissues available for the studies reported here offered an unusual opportunity to study virus transmission with organ transplantation, and produced evidence of frequent viral infection in apparently healthy donors. We report here that viruses could be isolated from over 80% of both donor and recipient tissue. Previous serological reports have suggested an increased incidence of herpesviruses associated with transplantation1-5, but the high incidence reported here for tissues of donors without any apparent herpetic lesions has important implications both with respect to the transmission of herpesviruses and their relationship to neoplasia.
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