There do seem to be some non-pathogenic DNA viruses, for example Foamy virus. Non-pathogenic viruses would be great to use for gene therapy applications, except DNA viruses incorporate themselves into the genome, which could drive oncogenesis. RNA viruses that are non-pathogenic would be great, but all RNA viruses seem to be especially pathogenic. Rabies, Ebola, Bas-Congo, Smallpox, etc.

Do there exist "gentle" RNA viruses?

  • $\begingroup$ Does it count if their pathogenicity is species specific? $\endgroup$
    – user40950
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ The alphaviruses typically move between an arthropod host and a mammalian host. In the arthropod, they seem to be harmless. In the mammal, they are pathogenic. If there were some way to make them treat mammalian cells like insect cells, they would be very useful for gene therapy applications. $\endgroup$
    – user137
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 4:16


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