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Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1937:189-209. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9065-8_11.

Poxviruses as Gene Therapy Vectors: Generating Poxviral Vectors Expressing Therapeutic Transgenes.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock, AR, USA.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock, AR, USA.
The Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Inflammatory Responses, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.


Treatments with poxvirus vectors can have long-lasting immunological impact in the host, and thus they have been extensively studied to treat diseases and for vaccine development. More importantly, the oncolytic properties of poxviruses have led to their development as cancer therapeutics. Two poxviruses, vaccinia virus (VACV) and myxoma virus (MYXV), have been extensively studied as virotherapeutics with promising results. Vaccinia virus vectors have advanced to the clinic and have been tested as oncolytic therapeutics for several cancer types with successes in phase I/II clinical trials. In addition to oncolytic applications, MYXV has been explored for additional applications including immunotherapeutics, purging of cancer progenitor cells, and treatments for graft-versus-host diseases. These novel therapeutic applications have encouraged its advancement into clinical trials. To meet the demands of different treatment needs, VACV and MYXV can be genetically engineered to express therapeutic transgenes. The engineering process used in poxvirus vectors can be very different from that of other DNA virus vectors (e.g., the herpesviruses). This chapter is intended to serve as a guide to those wishing to engineer poxvirus vectors for therapeutic transgene expression and to produce viral preparations for preclinical studies.


Infection/transfection; Myxoma virus (MYXV); Poxvirus; Poxvirus genetic engineering; Poxvirus transfer vector; Transgene expression; Vaccinia virus (VACV)

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