Stanford University

Sendai Virus Fact Sheet

Sendai virus, or murine parainfluenza virus type 1, is an enveloped,150-200nm in diameter, single strand, negative-sense RNA virus that is part of the Paramyxoviridae family. It typically infects rodents and swine, and causes a highly transmissible respiratory tract infection. Sendai virus replication occurs in the cytoplasm of infected cells.

Sendai viral vectors have been developed that are able to express up to four exogenous genes, and are used to create iPSCs for use in cell reprogramming and stem cell research. Sendai virus does not integrate into the genome. Co-infection of Sendai-transduced cells transplanted into animals with wild-type Sendai may lead to expression of exogenous genes in animal models.

What are the hazards?

No known pathology for Sendai virus.


Not documented definitively. Infection apparently via aerosol and contact. Capable of infecting human cells in tissue culture.

Laboratory hazards

Droplet exposure of the mucous membrane, direct injection.

Laboratory hazards ppe
Exposure of mucus membrane (eyes, nose, mouth) Use of safety goggles or full face shields. Use of appropriate face mask
Injection Use of safety needles; NEVER re-cap needle or remove needle from syringe
Aerosol inhalation Use of appropriate respiratory protection
Direct contact with skin Gloves, lab coat, closed shoes

The above PPE are often required IN ADDITION to working in a certified Biosafety Cabinet.

Susceptibility to disinfectants: Susceptible to 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, formaldehyde.

Use in Lab: BSL-2

Use with Animals: ABSL-2 housing.


No specific treatment.

Back to Top

Download full instructions here ->