Monte Carlo estimates of natural variation in HIV infection.

TitleMonte Carlo estimates of natural variation in HIV infection.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsHeffernan JM, Wahl LM
JournalJournal of theoretical biology
Date Published2005 Sep 21
KeywordsAnti-HIV Agents, Cell Death, HIV Infections, HIV-1, Humans, Lymphocyte Count, Models, Biological, Monte Carlo Method, T-Lymphocytes, Viral Load, Virion, Virus Replication

We describe a Monte Carlo simulation of the within-host dynamics of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1). The simulation proceeds at the level of individual T-cells and virions in a small volume of plasma, thus capturing the inherent stochasticity in viral replication, mutation and T-cell infection. When cell lifetimes are distributed exponentially in the Monte Carlo approach, our simulation results are in perfect agreement with the predictions of the corresponding systems of differential equations from the literature. The Monte Carlo model, however, uniquely allows us to estimate the natural variability in important parameters such as the T-cell count, viral load, and the basic reproductive ratio, in both the presence and absence of drug therapy. The simulation also yields the probability that an infection will not become established after exposure to a viral inoculum of a given size. Finally, we extend the Monte Carlo approach to include distributions of cell lifetimes that are less-dispersed than exponential.

Alternate JournalJ. Theor. Biol.