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Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a small virus which infects humans and some other primate species. AAV is not currently known to cause disease. The virus causes a very mild immune response, lending further support to its apparent lack of pathogenicity. Gene therapy vectors using AAV can infect both dividing and quiescent cells and persist in an extrachromosomal state without integrating into the genome of the host cell, although in the native virus some integration of virally carried genes into the host genome does occur. These features make AAV a very attractive candidate for creating viral vectors for gene therapy, and for the creation of isogenic human disease models. Recent human clinical trials using AAV for gene therapy in the retina have shown promise. AAV belongs to the genus Dependoparvovirus, which in turn belongs to the family Parvoviridae. The virus is a small (20 nm) replication-defective, nonenveloped virus.