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Computer simulation captures immune response to flu
Date:5/18/2009

tion of the liquid portion of blood (serum) taken from patients who have previously been infected and successfully fought off an influenza virus. This serum would contain antibodies against the virus at hand. Current antiviral treatments only work if given with 48 hours of infection, and vaccines take several weeks to start working, leaving a gap that might be filled by immune sera injection.

Because its genetic makeup is new, little is known about the distribution of preexisiting immunity to current H1N1 "swine" flu across populations, the immune response to the virus or the efficacy of available vaccines. The team in Rochester hopes to contribute to the building of models that simulate swine flu infection across the entire U.S. population to better predict its course.

Along with Wu and Zand, major project contributors included Ha Youn Lee, Sung Yong Park, Jeanne Holden-Wiltse and Hongyu Miao in the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the Medical Center; David Topham, Joseph Hollenbaugh, Tim Mosmann and Brian Ward within the David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology & Immunology and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; and John Treanor and Xia Jin in the Division of Infectious Diseases within the Department of Medicine. Alan Perelson led a partnering effort at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

"The right computer model can provide a precise, hands-on way of measuring just how good our theories are about how the system responds to pandemic virus, and how to strengthen our defenses," said Wu.


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Contact: Greg Williams
Greg_Williams@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1757
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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