Acute infection with human herpesvirus-6 induces physiological cell proliferation in persons without major immune deficiency. It thus can serve as a parameter to validate a mathematical model designed to simulate cell proliferation under physiological and pathological conditions. Such a mathematical model is presented to simulate various cell changes of the T-cell immune system during the course of HHV-6 infection. Model development follows several steps, beginning with a basic model containing physiological T-cell pools to the introduction of infectious stimuli in the final model. A search algorithm designed to optimize the system parameters, as well as initial variables of the model, is presented. The results of simulation runs for acute HHV-6 infection of the final computational model correspond well to the data, as documented in human patients; they suggest that the computational model presented for the simulation of T-cell levels in a given viral infection may well serve as a tool for similar studies of other viral infections, including those that lead to cellular aplasia or neoplasia.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.