The Common Viral Vectors Of Gene Therapy

3198 Words13 Pages
To what extent are retroviral, adenoviral, and adeno-associated viral vectors effective in transferring and integrating therapeutic genes?

Sunya Kedir

Extended Essay
15 December 2015
This investigation will examine the common viral vectors that are used in gene therapy: retrovirus, adenovirus, and adeno-associated virus. It will assess the form in which the virus carries genetic material (RNA or DNA), the genetic capacity (in kilobases), the genome organization of the virus and the therapeutic gene, the structure of the virus, the function of each component, the process in which the virus infects the host cell, the process of integration, the advantages and disadvantages of the use of that virus, and finally, clinical trial cases in which the virus was used as a vector. By looking at these aspects for each type of virus, I am able determine the extent to which they are effective in transferring and integrating therapeutic gene in the use of gene therapy.

When I was learning about genetic modification, and the different vectors involved in it, last year in IB Biology HL 1, I wondered whether or not it was used on humans. After some research, I discovered that it is indeed used on humans; however, it is used for the purpose of treating various genetic disorders. I was intrigued. During my research, however, I did not find a single source that assessed all the common viral vectors using the same framework to assess each one through.
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