This interdisciplinary research aims to combine pathogen and immune dynamics with met population theory. It will form an important link between the research on spatial population dynamics and the intra-host dynamics of infectious diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); polyomavirus type BK (BKV), hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV). The goal of this research project is to address the following questions:
(A) Can different immune mechanisms contribute to level-level persistence of a viral disease by changing complex local dynamics and thereby decreasing synchrony in the dynamics of different local virus populations?
(B) Does subdivision of a large population of viruses into a large number of small subpopulations by different immune mechanisms increase or decrease eradication time in vivo?
(C) What are the implications for the evolution of immunology memory (B-cells and T-cells)? (D) How do qualitatively different sub-compartments of infected cells contribute to long-term stability and persistence of a viral infection? A natural conceptual framework to answer the above questions comes from ecology, where it is known as \"level dynamics\". The proposed research project has the potential to lead to important insights in the pathogenesis of HIV and the design of therapeutics and vaccines. It further may help to preserve the function of transplanted organs in kidney recipients suffering from BKV infection, which not only increases the quality y of life of those patients, but also reduces the demand of donor organs. The research project is interjectorily and has the potential to lead an exchange of knowledge between ecology and the life sciences. With respect to the transfer of knowledge within the European Community the project will allow me to learn how to apply models and modelling techniques from theoretical ecology to study the dynamics of infectious diseases on a microscopic spatial scale.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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