September 2014 A stochastic model for virus growth in a cell population
J. E. Björnberg, T. Britton, E. I. Broman, E. Natan
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J. Appl. Probab. 51(3): 599-612 (September 2014). DOI: 10.1239/jap/1409932661


In this work we introduce a stochastic model for the spread of a virus in a cell population where the virus has two ways of spreading: either by allowing its host cell to live and duplicate, or by multiplying in large numbers within the host cell, causing the host cell to burst and thereby let the virus enter new uninfected cells. The model is a kind of interacting Markov branching process. We focus in particular on the probability that the virus population survives and how this depends on a certain parameter λ which quantifies the `aggressiveness' of the virus. Our main goal is to determine the optimal balance between aggressive growth and long-term success. Our analysis shows that the optimal strategy of the virus (in terms of survival) is obtained when the virus has no effect on the host cell's life cycle, corresponding to λ = 0. This is in agreement with experimental data about real viruses.


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J. E. Björnberg. T. Britton. E. I. Broman. E. Natan. "A stochastic model for virus growth in a cell population." J. Appl. Probab. 51 (3) 599 - 612, September 2014.


Published: September 2014
First available in Project Euclid: 5 September 2014

zbMATH: 1305.60083
MathSciNet: MR3256214
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1239/jap/1409932661

Primary: 60J80 , 60J85
Secondary: 60J27 , 60J28 , 92D15

Keywords: branching process , interacting branching process , model for virus growth

Rights: Copyright © 2014 Applied Probability Trust


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Vol.51 • No. 3 • September 2014
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