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Table 2 General properties of the most commonly used viral vectors.

From: LDLR-Gene therapy for familial hypercholesterolaemia: problems, progress, and perspectives

Properties Adenoviruses AAV Retroviruses Lentiviruses
Wild type viruses 36 kb ds linear DNA 4.7 kb ssDNA 9.2 kb Diploid +ssRNA 8-10 kb Diploid +ssRNA
Pre-existing host antibodies Yes Yes Unlikely Unlikely but (may be in HIV +ve individuals)
Packaging capacity 8-30 kb 4 kb <8 kb 8 kb expected
Viral titre (particles/ml) >1013 >1012 >109 109
Stability Good Good Good Not tested
Integration No <10% integrated Yes Yes
Cellular localisation Nuclear Nuclear Nuclear Nuclear
Cell range Non-replicating and replicating Non-replicating and replicating Replicating only Non-replicating and replicating
Levels of expression Very high Moderate Moderate Moderate
Duration of expression Transient Long Long, but subject to shutdown Long
Immune response Extensive Not known Few neutralis-ing antibodies Not known
Safety issues Inflammatory and toxicity Rearrangement and inflammatory Insertional mutagenesis Insertional mutagenesis
Main advantages Extremely efficient transduction of most tissues Non-inflammatory Non-pathogenic Long-term gene transfer in dividing cells Long-term gene transfer in dividing cells
Main disadvantages Capsid mediates a potent inflammatory response Small packaging capacity Transduces only dividing cells and potential for oncogenesis Potential for oncogenesis
  1. kb, kilo base; ssDNA, single stranded DNA; dsDNA, double stranded DNA.