The Influence of Immune Response on Spreading of Viral Infection
Abstract In this work we develop a model of viral infection in host tissues in order to study the influence of the immune response on the infection spreading speed and on the viral load characterizing, respectively, severity of symptoms and infection transmission rate. Dynamics of the interaction between viral infection and the immune response is studied with nonlocal reaction-diffusion equations for the concentrations of virus, interferon, immune cells and antibodies. Analytical results for infection spreading speed and viral load are completed by numerical simulations. At the first stage, progression of viral infection is confronted by the innate immune response mostly determined by the local interferon production. The modeling results show in this case that infection spreading speed does not depend on interferon concentration, while the total viral load decreases with the increase of its concentration. Next, we consider the influence of globally circulating interferon and show that, in contrast to local interferon diffusion, infection spreading speed decreases with increasing of global interferon level, and the total viral load also decreases. At the next stage, adaptive immune response mediated by antibodies and cytotoxic T cells (CTL) further influences infection progression. In this case, the infection propagation speed and the total viral load are decreased by the immune response. The humoral adaptive response (antibodies) increases the global interferon concentration through the viral load, while the cellular adaptive response (CTL) decreases it.