Gene Therapy Basics

Differences between Viral and Non-viral Vectors used for Gene Therapy

Written by MicroDok

The major differences between viral and non-vectors used for gene therapy applications are as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VIRAL AND NON-VIRAL VECTORS

S/No. Viral vectors Non-viral vectors
1. Highly efficient in transferring desired genes. Less or fairly efficient in transferring desired genes.
2. Viral vectors pose some health risk to the recipient

Patient.

Non-viral vectors are usually safer to use, and they do not pose any health risk to the recipient patient.
3. Viral vectors are used for in vivo gene therapy to

deliver desired genes through the process of

transduction.

Non-viral vectors are used for ex vivo gene therapy to deliver desired genes through the process known as transfection.
4. Viruses (e.g. adeno-associated viruses and adenoviruses)are used as vectors. Non-viral vectors such as gene gun or microinjection and calcium phosphate precipitate e.t.c. are used as vehicles to convey the gene of interest into the body of the host.

Fig. 1. Synoptic illustration of how genes are delivered during gene therapy technique

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