Adeno-associated viruses

Methods Mol Biol. 2011;737:211-34. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-095-9_9.


Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have evolved over the past decade as a particularly useful gene -vector for in vivo applications. In contrast to oncoretro- and lentiviral vectors, this vector stays essentially episomal after gene transfer, making it safer because of the absence of insertional mutagenesis. AAV's non-pathogenicity is a further advantage. For decades, this vector could only be produced at a small scale for research purposes and, eventually, used at very small doses for clinical studies, because only transfection methods were available, which have limited scalability. However, since the development of scalable production methods, this bottleneck is resolved and, from a technical point of view, large quantities of AAV vectors can be produced, opening the possibility of using AAV vectors for whole body treatments in gene therapy trials. This chapter presents the basic principles of small- and large-scale production procedures as well as detailed procedure of small-scale production, purification, and analytical protocols for AAV vectors. In Chapter 10, the reader will find a large-scale production method based on the use of the insect cell/baculovirus system.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Probes / chemical synthesis
  • Dependovirus / genetics*
  • Dependovirus / growth & development
  • Dependovirus / isolation & purification
  • Genes, Viral
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Genetic Vectors / isolation & purification*
  • Helper Viruses / genetics
  • Humans
  • Titrimetry / methods
  • Transduction, Genetic / methods
  • Transfection / methods
  • Ultracentrifugation / methods
  • Virion / genetics*
  • Virion / growth & development
  • Virion / isolation & purification


  • DNA Probes