The coupling of strain evolution and disease dynamics

author: Stefan Wieland, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia
published: Oct. 15, 2008,   recorded: September 2008,   views: 2861


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Influenza A is characterized by seasonal outbreaks and a gradual genetic, yet discontinuous antigenic evolution (antigenic "cluster jumps" occuring every 4-7 years, with a large seasonal epidemic as a result of lacking immunity among the population).The interplay between viral mutations and an age-group-specific human immune response is modelled here, trying to account for the observed phenomena and to predict next season's epidemic strain from the dynamics of the previous year.

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