Lentiviruses are a subclass of retroviruses which are able to transduce both dividing and non-dividing cells. They have been documented to be capable of transducing stem cells, neurons, and immune cells in vivo, with high efficiency and transgene expression stability, making them a highly compelling option for gene therapy approaches.1
Lentiviruses pose the same risk of mutagenesis and oncogenesis as retroviruses.1
In addition, while both retroviruses and lentiviruses can be pathogenic if they become replication-capable, lentiviruses present a greater safety risk because of their ability to induce chronic and fatal diseases, including AIDS.1
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1. J.B. Connolly, “Lentiviruses in gene therapy clinical research,” Gene Ther
9(24): 1730-1734, 2002.