The last thing the field of gene therapy needs is another setback. Two studies, not yet peer-reviewed, point to adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a suspect behind the unusual hepatitis that emerged in children in April 2022.
AAV has been critical to the development of gene therapy, as carriers of human genes in the single strand of DNA that is the viral genome.
AAV has been considered relatively harmless, as viruses go. It was discovered in 1965 as a tiny tag-along that will only replicate in human cells if adenovirus is also there at some point – hence the "adeno-associated." AAV infection can also accompany certain herpes infections. Several subtypes of AAV have since been identified; AAV2 and AAV9 are gene therapy favorites. And they're common. Eighty percent of us harbor AAV2.
To continue reading, go to DNA Science, where this post first appeared.