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Does the DNA of a transplanted organ change to that of the recipient? © Getty Images

Does the DNA of a transplanted organ change to that of the recipient?

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Transplanted organs don't transfer their DNA to the host any more than the host makes genetic changes to the implanted organs.

Asked by: R West, St Neots

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Unfortunately not: the genetic instruction in the cells of any organ stays the same after being transplanted. That means the donated organ is always seen as a foreign ‘invader’ by the recipient’s disease-fighting immune system.

Anyone receiving an organ transplant from someone other than an identical twin must therefore remain on anti-rejection medication indefinitely.

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