UNIT 9.13 Detection of Helper Virus in Retrovirus Stocks

  1. Constance Cepko1,
  2. Warren Pear (proviral rescue)2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142727.mb0913s36

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

Current Protocols in Molecular Biology

How to Cite

Cepko, C. and Pear, W. 2001. Detection of Helper Virus in Retrovirus Stocks. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. 36:III:9.13:9.13.1–9.13.7.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

  2. 2

    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: OCT 1996


Helper virus is a replication-competent virus that is sometimes present in stocks of replication-incompetent virus. There are several types of applications in which the presence of helper virus can be problematic. If animal infections are being done, helper virus can lead to leukemia, particularly if the infection is carried out pre- or neonatally. If retroviruses are being used for lineage analysis, helper virus may cause horizontal spread of the marker virus, creating false lineage relationships. This unit describes protocols for the detection of helper virus by a selectable marker assay, by rescue of an integrated provirus, or by measuring reverse transcriptase activity.