Multiple infection of target cells by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may lead to viral escape from host immune responses and drug resistance to antiretroviral therapy, bringing more challenges to the control of infection. The mechanisms underlying HIV multiple infection and their relative contributions are not fully understood. In this paper, we develop and analyze a mathematical model that includes sequential cell-free virus infection (i.e. one virus is transmitted each time in a sequential infection of target cells by virus) and cell-to-cell transmission (i.e. multiple viral genomes are transmitted simultaneously from infected to uninfected cells). By comparing model prediction with the distribution data of proviral genomes in HIV-infected spleen cells, we find that multiple infection can be well explained when the two modes of viral transmission are both included. Numerical simulation using the parameter estimates from data fitting shows that the majority of T cell infections are attributed to cell-to-cell transmission and this transmission mode also accounts for more than half of cell's multiple infections. These results suggest that cell-to-cell transmission plays a critical role in forming HIV multiple infection and thus has important implications for HIV evolution and pathogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistics and Probability
- Modelling and Simulation
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Applied Mathematics