An Australian teenager who received a liver transplant has astonished medical experts by taking on her donor’s immune system. Writing inThe New England Journal of Medicine, doctors from Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital reported that the teenager’s blood group had changed to the donor’s blood type. Other tests revealed the stem cells from the donor liver had penetrated her bone marrow.
Astonishingly, the doctors involved found the girl’s immune system had almost totally been replaced by that of the donor and she no longer has to take anti-rejection drugs.
Doctors from Westmead Children’s Hospital, the University of Sydney and the Australian National Liver Transplant Unit are researching the phenomenon further.