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CDC says bacteria in donor tissue caue of Minnesota man's death after routine knee surgery.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that an investigation into the deaths of 3 patients last month in Minnesota after routine knee surgery revealed one of the patients was killed by a bacterium contained in human tissue used in the operation.

The CDC said the patient, a 23-year-old man, was killed by a rare bacterial infection caused by a spore forming-bacterium (Clostridium sordellii) normally found in the soil and fecal matter. The distributor of the tissue was CryoLife, Inc., Atlanta, GA. \ CryoLife immediately issued a press statement stressing it is cooperating with the health agencies investigating the matter.

Two of the deaths involved patients undergoing knee replacement surgery that did not involve transplanted human tissue. The third received a CryoLife-processed human donor condyte tissue to repair articular cartilage in the knee, the company said.

Dr. Daniel Jernigan, a CDC medical epidemiologist, said it is the first report that donor tissue for knee surgery can cause illness or death. The CDC has yet to determine where or when the donor tissues were infected, he said. The donors could have been infected at the time of death or contamination could have occurred as tissues were collected, shipped, treated or implanted.

"Based on our recent conversations with state and federal public health agencies, they are unable at this time to tell us how the Clostridium sordellii bacterium was introduced into the knee patient's body, and they have revealed no conclusion regarding the source of the infection in the patient," CryoLife said in the release. "The CDC is testing a similar tissue from the same donor, but the final results are not known at this time."

"Tissues from the same donor processed by CryoLife have been implanted in 8 other patients," said James VanderWyk, PhD, the company's vice president for Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance. "Physician follow-ups of these patients have indicated all are doing well. There were 12 separate cultures on tissue recovered from the donor, none of these cultures were positive for Clostridium sordellii."

VanderWyk added that in the past 17 years CryoLife has processed 250,000+ pieces of tissue from more than 60,000 donors, without a single known incidence of Clostridium sordelli infection.

The Minnesota Department of Public Health and the US Food and Drug Administration have joined the CDC in the investigation.
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Title Annotation:Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Comment:CDC says bacteria in donor tissue caue of Minnesota man's death after routine knee surgery.(Centers for Disease Control (CDC))
Publication:Transplant News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 15, 2001
Words:388
Previous Article:Corrections.
Next Article:Massachusetts board says HIV-positive patient with liver failure should be covered for liver transplant.
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