Analysis of a within-host HIV/HTLV-I co-infection model with immunity

Virus Res. 2020 Nov 3;295:198204. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2020.198204. Online ahead of print.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) are two retroviruses that attack the immune cells and impair their functions. Both HIV and HTLV-I can be transmitted between individuals through direct contact with certain body fluids from infected individuals. Therefore, a person can be co-infected with both viruses. HIV causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, while HTLV-I is the causative agent for adult T-cell leukemia and HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis. Several mathematical models have been developed in the literature to describe the within-host dynamics of HIV and HTLV-I mono-infections. However, modeling a within-host dynamics of HIV/HTLV-I co-infection has not been involved. In the present paper, we are concerned to formulate and analyze a new HIV/HTLV co-infection model under the effect of Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) immune response. The model describes the interaction between susceptible CD4+T cells, silent HIV-infected cells, active HIV-infected cells, silent HTLV-infected cells, Tax-expressing HTLV-infected cells, free HIV particles, HIV-specific CTLs and HTLV-specific CTLs. The HIV can spread by two routes of transmission, virus-to-cell and cell-to-cell. On the other side, HTLV-I has two modes of transmission, (i) horizontal transmission via direct cell-to-cell contact, and (ii) vertical transmission through mitotic division of Tax-expressing HTLV-infected cells. The well-posedness of the model is established by showing that the solutions of the model are nonnegative and bounded. We define a set of threshold parameters which govern the existence and stability of all equilibria of the model. We explore the global asymptotic stability of all equilibria by utilizing Lyapunov function and LaSalle's invariance principle. We have presented numerical simulations to justify the applicability and effectiveness of the theoretical results. In addition, we evaluate the effect of HTLV-I infection on the HIV dynamics and vice versa.

Keywords: CTL-mediated immune response; Global stability; HIV/HTLV-I co-infection; Lyapunov function; Mitotic transmission.