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Modeling B Cell Dysfunction in HIV Infection

Progression from infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to AIDS is a complex process that remains poorly understood. While mathematical models representing the ongoing battle between HIV and the immune system have been successful, they remain focused on cellular, as opposed to humoral, immunity. This situation remains in spite of the fact that recent evidence has shown the mediators of humoral immunity, the B cells, to represent a significant factor in the progression to AIDS. We propose here a mathematical model of HIV infection, which, in addition to B cells, includes a population of so-called "dysfunctional B cells." These cells are improperly activated by HIV and contribute towards the progression to AIDS as they waste valuable immune resources and promote autoimmunity, which often accompanies HIV infection. By including more relevant aspects of the immune system into our model, we intend to suggest useful experiments as well as gain a more comprehensive picture of HIV infection.

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Loan Nguyen, Arizona State University
Tagan Griffin, Arizona State University
Abdessamad Tridane, Arizona State University
Yang Kuang, Arizona State University