It is challenging to distinguish hiv viruses from evs
HIV-1 viruses are outward budding viruses that recruit cell membrane proteins when forming. This process is very similar to the genesis of some EVs (particularly small EVs that shed from the plasma membrane).
This makes it very difficult to use biomarkers to distinguish a virus-like particle from an EV. In part it is due to HIV-1 contains CD9 and CD63, two classical Tetraspanins to label EVs, but also because their physical properties are similar[@martinjaular2021Unbiased proteomic profiling of host cell extracellular vesicle composition and dynamics upon HIV-1 infection].
A potential approach to overcome some of the challenges is to perform a proteomeic profile of EVs and study some of the differences between before/after infection.
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