Backward bifurcation in a model for HTLV-I infection of CD4+ T cells
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- Gómez-Acevedo, H. & Li, M.Y. Bull. Math. Biol. (2005) 67: 101. doi:10.1016/j.bulm.2004.06.004
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Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus Type I (HTLV-I) primarily infects CD4+ helper T cells. HTLV-I infection is clinically linked to the development of Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma and of HTLV-I Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis, among other illnesses. HTLV-I transmission can be either horizontal through cell-to-cell contact, or vertical through mitotic division of infected CD4+ T cells. It has been observed that HTLV-I infection has a high proviral load but a low rate of proviral genetic variation. This suggests that vertical transmission through mitotic division of infected cells may play an important role.We consider and analyze a mathematical model for HTLV-I infection of CD4+ T cells that incorporates both horizontal and vertical transmission. Among interesting dynamical behaviors of the model is a backward bifurcation which raises many new challenges to effective infection control.