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?

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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