A PDE multiscale model of hepatitis C virus infection can be transformed to a system of ODEs

Kosaku Kitagawa, Shinji Nakaoka, Yusuke Asai, Koichi Watashi, Shingo Iwami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) by targeting its intracellular viral replication. DAAs are effective and deliver high clinical performance against HCV infection, but optimization of the DAA treatment regimen is ongoing. Different classes of DAAs are currently under development, and HCV treatments that combine two or three DAAs with different action mechanisms are being improved. To accurately quantify the antiviral effect of these DAA treatments and optimize multi-drug combinations, we must describe the intracellular viral replication processes corresponding to the action mechanisms by multiscale mathematical models. Previous multiscale models of HCV treatment have been formulated by partial differential equations (PDEs). However, estimating the parameters from clinical datasets requires comprehensive numerical PDE computations that are time consuming and often converge poorly. Here, we propose a user-friendly approach that transforms a standard PDE multiscale model of HCV infection (Guedj J et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2013; 110(10):3991–6) to mathematically identical ordinary differential equations (ODEs) without any assumptions. We also confirm consistency between the numerical solutions of our transformed ODE model and the original PDE model. This relationship between a detailed structured model and a simple model is called “model aggregation problem” and a fundamental important in theoretical biology. In particular, as the parameters of ODEs can be estimated by already established methods, our transformed ODE model and its modified version avoid the time-consuming computations and are broadly available for further data analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 7 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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