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Transplant patients and immune disease sufferers have received new hope from a 15-year-old Sydney girl hailed as a "one-in-six-billion miracle" when her body took on her liver donor's immune system.
Doctors at Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital say Demi-Lee Brennan has achieved "the holy grail of transplants" in the only known case of its kind.
Miss Brennan no longer has to take toxic anti-rejection drugs, which transplant patients need to consume for the rest of their lives to stop an internal fight between their new organ and their immune system.
The drugs, known as immunosuppresants, can have toxic effects on organs and cause severe infections.
Miss Brennan had an urgent transplant after a virus caused her liver to fail, potentially fatally, when she was nine years old.
But she became very ill nine months later, suffering haemolysis - a breakdown of the red blood cells.
When tests came back, her doctors were astonished to find the girl's blood group had changed from O-negative, the same as her parents, to the donor's blood type of O-positive.
Further tests revealed stem cells from the donor liver had penetrated Miss Brennan's bone marrow - a phenomenon her doctors have described as a natural bone marrow transplant.
They say they were even more surprised when they found the girl's immune system had been almost totally replaced (see for more)
Originally posted by Now_Then
Okay - this may be a dumb question, but why was she given a Liver that was from a doner with a different blood type?
Blood group AB individuals have both A and B antigens on the surface of their RBCs, and their blood serum does not contain any antibodies against either A or B antigen. Therefore, an individual with type AB blood can receive blood from any group (with AB being preferable), but can donate blood only to another group AB individual.