Mathematical modeling and analysis can provide insight on the dynamics of ecosystems which maintain biodiversity in the face of competitive and prey–predator interactions. Of primary interests are the underlying structure and features which stabilize diverse ecological networks. Recently Korytowski and Smith (Theor Ecol 8(1):111–120, 2015) proved that a perfectly nested infection network, along with appropriate life history trade-offs, leads to coexistence and persistence of bacteria-phage communities in a chemostat model. In this article, we generalize their model in order to apply it to the within-host dynamics virus and immune response, in particular HIV and CTL (Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte) cells. Our model can describe sequential viral escape from dominant immune responses and rise in subdominant immune responses, consistent with observed patterns of HIV/CTL evolution. We find a Lyapunov function for the system which leads to rigorous characterization of persistent viral and immune variants, along with informing upon equilibria stability and global dynamics. Results are interpreted in the context of within-host HIV/CTL evolution and numerical simulations are provided.
Journal of Mathematical Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 20, 2017
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