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We have constructed a computer model of the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response to antigen and the maintenance of immunological memory. Because immune responses often begin with small numbers of cells and there is great variation among individual immune systems, we have chosen to implement a stochastic model that captures the life cycle of T cells more faithfully than deterministic models. Past models of the immune response have been differential equation based, which do not capture stochastic effects, or agent-based, which are computationally expensive. We use a stochastic stage-structured approach that has many of the advantages of agent-based modeling but is much more efficient. Our model can provide insights into the effect infections have on the CTL repertoire and the response to subsequent infections.
Date of Conference: 11-14 Aug. 2003