In the case of a gene therapy trial where viral vectors are used to deliver genes into mammalian cells, including humans, should biosafety and ethical protocols include isolation of the patient as a precaution post administration that the viral vector may recover its ability to cause disease and harm the environment (more so the patient as the animals tested can be destroyed by incineration)? And how long should that isolation stay be to ensure safe disarmament of the viral vector?

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    $\begingroup$ The viral vectors used in gene therapy trials are so heavily modified they can't just start replicating again. Chances are they are a lot more dangerous to the patient than they would be to anyone around them. I don't know what happens if you use a replication deficient lentiviral vector in an AIDS patient though. $\endgroup$
    – user137
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ But usually there is the delivery vector and the helper viral vector to help promote the new sequence, no? $\endgroup$
    – Nederealm
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ @user137 you don't use lentiviral vectors in AIDS patients. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Nederealm no, there's only one vector, delivered with a completely replication-deficient virus. Isolation of gene therapy patients is completely unnecessary. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Nederealm It sounds like you're confusing the production of viral vectors with their application. The replication deficient viruses must be produced in cell lines that produce the missing proteins, and I think AAV only grows in cells that are also infected with adenovirus, though I don't know much about virus production. $\endgroup$
    – user137
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 22:59


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