January 14, 2015

Baculoviruses

Baculoviruses are a family of large rod-shaped circular DNA viruses that are very species-specific among the invertebrates with over 600 host species having been described. Although baculoviruses are capable of entering many cell types, there is no evidence that they are capable of replication in vertebrate animal cells, including mammalian. Baculoviruses contain circular double-stranded genome ranging from 80–180 kbp.

In the 1990s, baculoviruses were first used to produce complex eukaryotic proteins in insect cell cultures (for example, Sf21). These recombinant proteins have been used in research and as vaccines in both human and veterinary medical treatments (for example, influenza vaccines). More recently, it has been described that engineered baculoviruses can be used to introduce genes into mammalian cells.

Biosafety

Baculoviruses are incapable of infecting and replicating in mammals and plants. They have a very restricted range of hosts that is limited to a number of closely related insect species. Because baculoviruses are not harmful to humans, they are considered a safe option for use in research applications

Key Advantages of Baculoviruses

1) DO NOT Replicate in mammalian cells

2) DO NOT insert viral DNA into host DNA

3) DO NOT elicit an immune response

4) Are cheap to manufacture

5) Are used to manufacture human vaccines

6) Abundant in nature

2019