Autonomous parvoviruses are small, non-enveloped, lytic DNA viruses replicating in the nucleus of actively dividing mammalian cells of appropriate species and tissue origins. In contrast to AAV, the other main subgroup of parvoviruses, autonomous parvoviruses do not require the assistance of an auxiliary virus for productive infection and do not stably integrate in the cellular DNA. Therefore, autonomous parvoviruses are suitable vectors for mediating transient gene transduction in dividing target cells. Interestingly, some of these viruses possess a striking inherent oncotropism, which may render them particularly suitable as selective vehicles in the clinical context of cancer gene therapy. In this chapter, we will present a brief overview of the biology of autonomous parvoviruses. This topic will be followed by a description of the design and recent developments in the production and use of parvoviral vectors, with a particular emphasis on biosafety aspects. Finally, the risk assessment related to the production and use of parvoviral vectors will be discussed in last part of the chapter.
Keywords: Autonomous Parvovirus-Based Vectors, mammalian cells, DNA viruses, cancer gene therapy, oncotropism
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