Which viral vector should I use?

Common viral vectors used in biomedical research include lentivirus, Moloney murine leukemia virus (MMLV), adenovirus, and adeno-associated virus (AAV), each with its advantages and disadvantages. Many factors affect the decision on what type of viral vector to use in your experiment. The key considerations include: Does the virus have the tropism for the target cells (namely, can it efficiently infect target cells)? Are the cells dividing or non-dividing? Do you want transient transduction or stable integration into the host genome? What transduction efficiency is needed? Do you need to use a customized promoter to drive the gene of interest? Will your vector be used in cell culture or in vivo? Will an immune response to the virus affect your experiment? The table below lists these considerations when choosing commonly used viruses:

TropismBroadBroadIneffective for some cellsDepending on viral serotype
Can infect non-dividing cells?YesNoYesYes
Stable integration or transientStable integrationStable integrationTransient, episomalTransient, episomal
Maximum titerHighModerateVery HighHigh
Promoter customizationYesNoYesYes
Primary useCell culture and in vivoCell culture and in vivoIn vivoIn vivo
Immune response in vivoLowLowHighVery low
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