Modeling the dynamics of hepatitis C virus with combined antiviral drug therapy: interferon and ribavirin

Math Biosci. 2013 Oct;245(2):235-48. doi: 10.1016/j.mbs.2013.07.005. Epub 2013 Jul 25.


A mathematical modeling of hepatitis C virus (HCV) dynamics and antiviral therapy has been presented in this paper. The proposed model, which involves four coupled ordinary differential equations, describes the interaction of target cells (hepatocytes), infected cells, infectious virions and non-infectious virions. The model takes into consideration the addition of ribavirin to interferon therapy and explains the dynamics regarding a biphasic and triphasic decline of viral load in the model. A critical drug efficacy parameter has been defined and it is shown that for an efficacy above this critical value, HCV is eradicated whereas for efficacy lower this critical value, a new steady state for infectious virions is reached, which is lower than the previous steady state value.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus (HCV); Infected cells; Infectious virions; Interferon; Noninfectious virions; Ribavirin; Target cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Computational Biology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans
  • Interferons / administration & dosage
  • Kinetics
  • Mathematical Concepts
  • Models, Biological*
  • Ribavirin / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Ribavirin
  • Interferons