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For the third time in the last year a supplier of human tissue used in surgical procedures has recalled tissue because of safety concerns.

A Minnesota patient apparently was infected with an unusual germ from cadaver tissue used during routine knee surgery — a discovery that has led the nation’s largest tissue bank to ask 750 hospitals around the country to return 2,400 tendons and other body parts as a precaution.

The new case involves a company that many health officials and tissue company executives regard as an industry leader and standard-bearer: Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, or MTF, of Edison, N.J.

In September, the CDC notified the company that an unusual infection had been reported in a Minnesota patient who received MTF-supplied tissue during surgery to fix a torn ligament a week earlier. Fluid from the patient’s knee joint grew Chryseobacterium meningosepticum — a germ never previously linked to tissue or organ transplants, said Dr. Arjun Srinivasan of the CDC.

This recall comes on the heels of an ongoing investigation in the industry after the theft of allograft or human tissue stolen from cadavers and distributed without proper screening. As a result a over 8000 people had received questionable tissue which may expose them to greater risk of acquiring infection and disease. The fallout has sent the human tissue industry into damage control mode. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has requested that a task force be put in place to investigate the industry as a whole and to make recommendations on how to eliminate the fraud and deception in this billion dollar industry.

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