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WIREs Syst Biol Med
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Influenza A virus infection kinetics: quantitative data and models

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Influenza A virus is an important respiratory pathogen that poses a considerable threat to public health each year during seasonal epidemics and even more so when a pandemic strain emerges. Understanding the mechanisms involved in controlling an influenza infection within a host is important and could result in new and effective treatment strategies. Kinetic models of influenza viral growth and decay can summarize data and evaluate the biological parameters governing interactions between the virus and the host. Here we discuss recent viral kinetic models for influenza. We show how these models have been used to provide insight into influenza pathogenesis and treatment, and we highlight the challenges of viral kinetic analysis, including accurate model formulation, estimation of important parameters, and the collection of detailed data sets that measure multiple variables simultaneously. WIREs Syst Biol Med 2011 3 429–445 DOI: 10.1002/wsbm.129

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Figure 1.

Schematic diagram of the viral dynamics models. (a) Classic model of viral dynamics. Target cells (T) are supplied at constant rate s and die at rate d per day. These cells become infected at rate βV per day. Free virions are produced from infected cells (I) at a rate p and are removed at a rate c. Infected cells are lost at a rate δ. (b) Acute virus infection model modified from the classic model. Target cell regeneration and death are not included. Infected cells were split into two classes, I1 and I2, where virus production initially undergoes an eclipse phase (k).

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Blanche Capel

Blanche Capel

earned her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and has been at Duke University since 1993. She earned her endowed professorship, the James B. Duke Professor of Cell Biology, for the meaningful discoveries she has made since her postdoctoral work in genetics at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. The broad goal of the research in Dr. Capel’s laboratory is to characterize the cellular and molecular basis of morphogenesis – how the body forms. She uses gonadal (gender/sex) development in the mouse as her model system and investigates a gene she helped discover, Sry, the male sex determining gene. Gonad development is unique in that a single rudimentary tissue can be induced to form one of two different organs, an ovary or testis, and she is learning all she can about this central mystery of biology.

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