Research report: Viral replicon systems and their biosafety aspects

In view of an increase in the number of requests for advice on assigning containment levels for work with viral replicons, COGEM commissioned a research project on various aspects of replicon systems. This research focused on the question of which replicon systems are under development and which strategies have been developed to improve the biosafety of replicons.

Based on literature research, the great diversity of viral replicon systems, derived from positive- or negative-sense single stranded RNA viruses, is described. Despite the great diversity, a number of common aspects with regard to possible environmental risks could be identified. The report describes various strategies to mitigate these risks and includes a schedule that can be used as a guideline for possible downscaling of viral replicon systems.

The COGEM research report can be found under the button ‘download publication’. The generic COGEM advice that has been drawn up on basis of these results can be found here.