Cross-immunoreactivity causes antigenic cooperation

School of Mathematics Colloquium
Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 11:05
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Georgia Institute of Technology
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has the propensity to cause chronic infection. HCV affects an estimated 170 million people worldwide. Immune escape by continuous genetic diversification is commonly described using a metaphor of "arm race" between virus and host. We developed a mathematical model that explained all clinical observations which could not be explained by the "arm race theory". The model applied to network of cross-immunoreactivity suggests antigenic cooperation as a mechanism of mitigating the immune pressure on HCV variants. Cross-immunoreactivity was observed for dengue, influenza, etc.   Therefore antigenic cooperation is a new target for therapeutic- and vaccine- development strategies.  Joint work with P.Skums and Yu. Khudyakov (CDC).  Our model is in a sense simpler than old one. In the speaker's opinion it is a good example to discuss what Math./Theor. Biology is and what it should be. Such (short) discussion is expected. NO KNOWLEDGE of Biology is expected to understand this talk.