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A mathematical model for cellular immunology of tuberculosis

Eduardo Ibarguen-Mondragon Lourdes Esteva Leslie Chávez-Galán

*Corresponding author:  

MBE2011,4,973doi:10.3934/mbe.2011.8.973

Tuberculosis (TB) is a global emergency. The World Health Organization reports about 9.2 million new infections each year, with an average of 1.7 million people killed by the disease. The causative agent is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), whose main target are the macrophages, important immune system cells. Macrophages and T cell populations are the main responsible for fighting the pathogen. A better understanding of the interaction between Mtb, macrophages and T cells will contribute to the design of strategies to control TB. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of the response of T cells and macrophages in the control of Mtb. To this end, we propose a system of ordinary differential equations to model the interaction among non-infected macrophages, infected macrophages, T cells and Mtb bacilli. Model analysis reveals the existence of two equilibrium states, infection-free equilibrium and the endemically infected equilibrium which can represent a state of latent or active infection, depending on the amount of bacteria.

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Article ID   1551-0018_2011_4_973
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