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A quantitative analysis of varicella-zoster virus infection: from immunology to epidemiology.

It is our goal to conceptualise mathematical models that describe the basic immunology with regard to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and immunological perturbations caused by VZV at the individual level. Furthermore, at the population based level we will formulate mathematical models describing the transmission of VZV between individuals. Simulations of both withinhuman and between-human dynamics will be based on biological and epidemiological parameters. These parameters will be estimated from our previous studies, and other international studies, as well as this project's experimental study, which is designed to provide major insights in the immunology of latency and reactivation. More specifically, we will longitudinally assess the immune response of about 120 VZV immune persons whose immune systems were recently perturbed for different reasons such as re-exposure to VZV and reactivation of VZV as shingles (Herpes Zoster). In an innovating way we will also perform similar analyses in 30 healthy individuals thereby creating a control group and defining a benchmark for longitudinal variation in immunity. The biological parameters will be implemented in our newly developed mathematical models after thorough statistical analysis. For the first time in this field, we will apply certain advanced statistical techniques (nonlinear mixed and growth mixture models).
Date:1 Oct 2011 →  30 Sep 2013
Disciplines:Applied mathematics in specific fields, Statistics and numerical methods, Scientific computing, Bioinformatics and computational biology, Microbiology, Systems biology, Immunology, Laboratory medicine, Public health care, Public health sciences, Public health services
Project type:Collaboration project