viral vectors in KOKI

Friday, 12 August, 2022

The tropism of a virus, i.e. its cell-specific infectivity, is determined by the proteins in the envelope that protect the virus or its genetic material. While enveloped viruses (e.g. Rabies) are surrounded by a membrane structure of phospholipids and proteins, viruses without such an outer envelope (e.g. rAAV) has only a protein layer (capsid) around the genetic material.


Vectors pseudotyped during vector production (viral envelopes or capsids combined with different proteins) may have a unique and distinctive tropism and transduction efficiency profile (PMID: 22712157), which should be taken into account in their biosafety risk assessment.

Viral vectors most commonly used in our institute:

Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV): A modified version of AAV with multiple plasmid constructs incapable of replication. Although a number of pseudotypes of AAV are used, not known human disease is associated with it.

If it is constructed using helper plasmids rather than viruses, they are most commonly classified to BSL-1. Exceptions to this are vectors containing oncogenic, apoptotic, or toxic inserts.

Inactivation with 10% hypochlorite/virucidase solution is possible.


Lentivirus: These viral vector, although derived from the HIV, have minimal replication capacity due to protein deletion during production.

Biosafety classification BSL-2/2+.

Inactivation with 10% hypochlorite/virucidase solution is possible.


Non-wild-type Rabies virus (rRabies- G-EnvA): A viral vector from an attenuated (SAD B19) strain, pseudotyped on the EnvA envelope protein, does not infect wild-type mammalian/human cells, only birds

Biosafety classification BSL2/2+

Immediate inactivation with 70% ethyl alcohol solution is possible.

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viral constructs