Bess Continues to Have no Problem Telling Microvesicles from HIV. Why Have You Gone So Far Without Looking at the Rest of His Work? 24 October 2003
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Tony Floyd,
Medical Student
Newcastle University, Newcastle Australia 2308,
Joseph Wardell, Louis Feinberg, and Moses Horwitz

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Re: Bess Continues to Have no Problem Telling Microvesicles from HIV. Why Have You Gone So Far Without Looking at the Rest of His Work?

Earlier reference was made to work by J.W. Bess(1):

> As shown by Bess et al, uninfected cells exhibit buds which are no different from those in infected cells

He did make this comment. He also didn't have any problem discerning the difference between these buds and HIV as you are trying to imply.

And then:

> If Tony had read the 1997 paper by Bess et al (1), by looking at figure 1 in the paper where the electrophoretic patterns of proteins in “purified HIV” were compared with those in “mock virus”, he may have come to the same conclusion as we did.

Well I didn't. And neither did any of the authors, nor have they in anything they have published since. I have read the paper, and Figure 3 shows quite clearly which are the microvesicles and which are HIV.

You also referred to him as:

> Julian Bess, for whom we have the highest regard

I also have the highest regard for him and his colleagues working on the AIDS Vaccine Program at SAIC Frederick. Do you also hold in high regard the many other scientists working towards vaccines against HIV? You might also find of interest his 2001 paper(2) which states:

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"Importantly, the presence of CD45 on microvesicles but not on virions may provide a way in which to purify HIV-1 virions of contaminating microvesicles. Microvesicle-free HIV-1 preparations would have practical applications for biochemical analyses. The ability to remove microvesicles from purified virus preparations may also be advantageous for the production of inactivated HIV-1 vaccines."

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Although in the entire paper he seems at no doubt about the difference between microvesicles and HIV.

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References:

(1) Bess JW Jr, Gorelick RJ, Bosche WJ, Henderson LE, Arthur LO. Microvesicles are a source of contaminating cellular proteins found in purified HIV-1 preparations. Virology. 1997 Mar 31;230(1):134-44. PMID: 9126269

(2) Esser MT, Graham DR, Coren LV, Trubey CM, Bess JW Jr, Arthur LO, Ott DE, Lifson JD. Differential incorporation of CD45, CD80 (B7-1), CD86 (B7-2), and major histocompatibility complex class I and II molecules into human immunodeficiency virus type 1 virions and microvesicles: implications for viral pathogenesis and immune regulation. J Virol. 2001 Jul;75(13):6173-82. PMID: 11390619

Competing interests: None declared