A Single-Parameter Model of the Immune Response to Bacterial Invasion
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The human immune response to bacterial pathogens is a remarkably complex process, involving many different cell types, chemical signals, and extensive lines of communication. Mathematical models of this system have become increasingly high-dimensional and complicated, as researchers seek to capture many of the major dynamics. In this paper, we argue that, in some important instances, preference should be given to low-dimensional models of immune response, as opposed to their high-dimensional counterparts. One such model is analyzed and shown to reflect many of the key phenomenological properties of the immune response in humans. Notably, this model includes a single parameter that, when combined with a single set of reference parameter values, may be used to quantify the overall immunocompetence of individual hosts.
KeywordsImmune response Mathematical model Differential equations model Stability analysis Similarity parameter
I am grateful to the University of Richmond for providing summer research support, and to Dr. Krista Stenger (Department of Biology, University of Richmond) for sharing her expertise in immunology.
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