Non-human primate (NHP)-derived adenoviruses have formed a valuable alternative for the use of human adenoviruses in vaccine development and gene therapy strategies by virtue of the low seroprevalence of neutralizing immunity in the human population. The more recent use of several human adenoviruses as oncolytic agents has exhibited excellent safety profiles and firm evidence of clinical efficacy. This proffers the question whether NHP-derived adenoviruses could also be employed for viral oncolysis in human patients. While vaccine vectors are conventionally made as replication-defective vectors, in oncolytic applications replication-competent viruses are used. The data on NHP-derived adenoviral vectors obtained from vaccination studies can only partially support the suitability of NHP-derived adenoviruses for use in oncolytic virus therapy. In addition, the use of NHP-derived adenoviruses in humans might be received warily given the recent zoonotic infections with influenza viruses and coronaviruses. In this review, we discuss the similarities and differences between human- and NHP-derived adenoviruses in view of their use as oncolytic agents. These include their genome organization, receptor use, replication and cell lysis, modulation of the host’s immune responses, as well as their pathogenicity in humans. Together, the data should facilitate a rational and data-supported decision on the suitability of NHP-derived adenoviruses for prospective use in oncolytic virus therapy.
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