UNIT 12.1 Biosafety in Handling Gene Transfer Vectors

  1. Andrew Braun

Published Online: 1 AUG 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0471142905.hg1201s50

Current Protocols in Human Genetics

Current Protocols in Human Genetics

How to Cite

Braun, A. 2006. Biosafety in Handling Gene Transfer Vectors. Current Protocols in Human Genetics. 50:12.1:12.1.1–12.1.18.

Author Information

  1. Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 AUG 2006
  2. Published Print: JUL 2006


This unit is devoted to safety issues that must be considered when generating and working with vectors for gene therapy. A short description of the relevant regulatory bodies and mechanisms is followed by a general discussion of containment and safety procedures. This is followed by vector-specific guidelines for nine commonly used vector systems, including adenovirus, vaccinia, HSV-1, lentivirus, and nonviral vectors. Recent tragic experiences with retroviral integration near oncogene loci demonstrate the surprise effects of successful gene therapy. The unit also outlines the problems encountered when taking a promising vector to clinical trials.


  • biosafety;
  • gene transfer;
  • vectors;
  • hazards;
  • risks