Recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 3B (rAAV3B) can transduce cultured human liver cancer cells and primary human hepatocytes efficiently. Serine (S)- and threonine (T)-directed capsid modifications further augment its transduction efficiency. Systemically delivered capsid-optimized rAAV3B vectors can specifically target cancer cells in a human liver cancer xenograft model, suggesting their potential use for human liver-directed gene therapy. Here, we compared transduction efficiencies of AAV3B and AAV8 vectors in cultured primary human hepatocytes and cancer cells as well as in human and mouse hepatocytes in a human liver xenograft NSG-PiZ mouse model. We also examined the safety and transduction efficacy of wild-type (WT) and capsid-optimized rAAV3B in the livers of nonhuman primates (NHPs). Intravenously delivered S663V+T492V (ST)-modified self-complementary (sc) AAV3B-EGFP vectors led to liver-targeted robust enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) expression in NHPs without apparent hepatotoxicity. Intravenous injections of both WT and ST-modified rAAV3B.ST-rhCG vectors also generated stable super-physiological levels of rhesus chorionic gonadotropin (rhCG) in NHPs. The vector genome predominantly targeted the liver. Clinical chemistry and histopathology examinations showed no apparent vector-related toxicity. Our studies should be important and informative for clinical development of optimized AAV3B vectors for human liver-directed gene therapy.