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Allotransplantation (allo- from the Greek meaning "other") is the transplantation of cells, tissues, or organs, to a recipient from a genetically non-identical donor of the same species. The transplant is called an allograft, allogeneic transplant, or homograft. Most human tissue and organ transplants are allografts. A xenograft is a graft from a different species, such as when animal tissue is grafted into human tissue, or when human cancer cells are implanted in mice for experimental tumor studies.
It is not uncommon for patients and physicians to use the term "allograft" imprecisely to refer to either allograft (human-to-human) or xenograft (animal-to-human), but it is helpful scientifically (for those searching or reading the scientific literature) to maintain the more precise distinction. Homografts may be called "homostatic" if they are biologically inert when transplanted, such as bone and cartilage.
Informed consent is required before tissue is harvested from a donor, alive or dead. Proper screening for pathology and risk factors for communicable diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C is then conducted.
In the US, donor tissue must be harvested and processed adhering to the Current Good Tissue Practices rule. In most cases it is sent to tissue banks for processing and distribution. Each year, Food and Drug Administration regulated and American Association of Tissue Banks-accredited tissue banks distribute 1.5 million bone and tissue allografts.
A variety of organs and tissues can be used for allografts, including:
In the US, the Federal government Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulated human tissue intended for transplants since 1993. In order to ensure the quality of donor tissue and reduce contamination and disease transmission risks three regulations addressing manufacturing activities associated with human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps) were promulgated in May 2005: The first requires companies producing and distributing HCT/Ps to register with the FDA. The second, called the “Donor Eligibility” rule, proscribes criteria for donor eligibility. The third, the “Current Good Tissue Practices” rule, oversees overall processing and distribution practices of each company.