Environmental Health & Safety

University of Colorado Boulder


Biosafety Considerations for Research with Lentiviral Vectors

General Description

The use of lentiviral vectors has been increasing because the vector system has attractive features; however, such research also raises biosafety issues. The NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities has received frequent questions regarding the appropriate containment for lentiviral vectors, particularly those derived from HIV-1. Because the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules (NIH Guidelines) do not explicitly address containment for research with lentiviral vectors, the RAC was asked to provide additional guidance for institutional biosafety committees (IBCs) and investigators on how to conduct a risk assessment for lentiviral vector research. At the March RAC 2006 meeting, the RAC offered the following findings and recommendations.