Mathematical Biology Seminar

Amber Smith

Wednesday March 7, 2012
3:05pm in LCB 323
Modeling Influenza A Virus Infection Kinetics

Influenza A virus is an important respiratory pathogen that poses a considerable threat to public health each year during seasonal epidemics and even more so when a pandemic strain emerges. Understanding the mechanisms involved in controlling an influenza infection within a host is important and could result in new and effective treatment strategies. Kinetic models of influenza viral growth and decay can summarize data and evaluate the biological parameters governing interactions between the virus and the host. Over the past 5 years, several viral kinetic models for influenza with varying complexity have been developed and used to examine data from different experimental systems. To better characterize influenza dynamics and evaluate the host immune response, we frequently sampled mice infected with influenza A virus and simultaneously measured pathogen titers, select cytokines and immune cells over the time course of infection. Using these data, we explore current model formulations, including viral control via target cell limitation and immune responses, and discuss the current state of modeling influenza infections, the insight gained from modeling, and where the field is heading.