A simulation framework to investigate in vitro viral infection dynamics
Sims, Amy C.
Baric, Ralph S.
Sloot, Peter M. A.
Date of Issue2011
International Conference on Computational Science (2011)
School of Computer Engineering
Virus infection is a complex biological phenomenon for which in vitro experiments provide a uniquely concise view where data is often obtained from a single population of cells, under controlled environmental conditions. Nonetheless, data interpretation and real understanding of viral dynamics is still hampered by the sheer complexity of the various intertwined spatio-temporal processes. In this paper we present a tool to address these issues: a cellular automata model describing critical aspects of in vitro viral infections taking into account spatial characteristics of virus spreading within a culture well. The aim of the model is to understand the key mechanisms of SARS-CoV infection dynamics during the first 24 h post infection. Using a simulated annealing algorithm we tune free parameters with data from SARS-CoV infection of cultured lung epithelial cells. We also interrogate the model using a Latin Hypercube sensitivity analysis to identify which mechanisms are critical to the observed infection of host cells and the release of measured virus particles.
© 2011 Elsevier B.V.