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Modeling and Control of Acute Infection of Toxoplasma Gondii

[+] Author Affiliations
Adam M. Sullivan, Joseph McBride, Xiaopeng Zhao, Michael Gilchrist

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN

Dana Mordue

New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY

Paper No. DSCC2012-MOVIC2012-8657, pp. 591-595; 5 pages
  • ASME 2012 5th Annual Dynamic Systems and Control Conference joint with the JSME 2012 11th Motion and Vibration Conference
  • Volume 1: Adaptive Control; Advanced Vehicle Propulsion Systems; Aerospace Systems; Autonomous Systems; Battery Modeling; Biochemical Systems; Control Over Networks; Control Systems Design; Cooperative and Decentralized Control; Dynamic System Modeling; Dynamical Modeling and Diagnostics in Biomedical Systems; Dynamics and Control in Medicine and Biology; Estimation and Fault Detection; Estimation and Fault Detection for Vehicle Applications; Fluid Power Systems; Human Assistive Systems and Wearable Robots; Human-in-the-Loop Systems; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Learning Control
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, October 17–19, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4529-5
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan capable of replicating sexually in cats and asexually in other warm-blooded animals. When the parasites first enter a host, the replication process begins very quickly as the free parasites invade healthy host cells, until a host-mediated immune response suppresses replication of the rapidly replicating parasites. To study the effects of this process, a data-driven model is developed where the number of parasites and the IFN-γ level are selected as state variables. The reproduction number, R0 is calculated to determine the criteria for sustaining infection within the host. Stability analyses are carried out for the endemic equilibriums. Parameter fitting is performed using maximum likelihood to match existing data to the model. Finally, an optimal control problem is formulated to investigate the optimal immune strategy when minimizing the negative host reaction to increased IFN-γ levels. The results shed light into the role the immune response plays in suppressing acute infection of Toxoplasma gondii.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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