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Computer simulation of immune system/HIV dynamics.


Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(2):307 (abstract no. Th.B.4333). Unique

Issues: During the past two years our understanding of how HIV and the Immune System interact has undergone a fundamental paradigm shift. Through the work of Ho, Wei, et. al., we know that system dynamics are much more complex and active than previously thought. Through the work of Nowak et. al. we know that HIV is continually evolving and the Immune System is coevolving with it. We are beginning to understand the power of combination interventions. And we now see AIDS as a disease of the immune system caused by a virus-cytokine communication, hematopoietic generation, and antigen recognition are altered by the presence of HIV. Computer simulations, using tools from Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life, allow the construction of useful models for testing ideas and finding optimal sequencing of interventions. Project: This simulation includes: (1) An algorithm to construct virtual cohorts with adjustable starting conditions. (2) Fuzzy logic rules developed by applying genetic algorithms to refine rule parameters. (3) Genetic algorithm coevolution of HIV and the Immune System.(3) An Intervention Genetic Algorithm that evolves sequence and timing of interventions to optimize CD4 T cell normalization, HIV load minimization, and host health maximization. (4) A data collection and reporting function that allows users to monitor the dynamics of the system. Results: Given similar starting parameters, the simulation provides outcomes which correlate with the results of actual experiments. It is also able to model the effects of sequenced combination therapies over long time periods. Lessons learned: Computer simulations are useful tools for modeling HIV/Immune System dynamics. They can test interventions that might not be feasible in real experiments. Through genetic algorithms, they can evolve optimal sequences for intervention, given variable starting conditions. They are helpful as a tool for testing ideas and discovering promising research directions.

*Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/GENETICS *Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/THERAPY *Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/VIROLOGY *Computer Simulation *HIV/IMMUNOLOGY *Immune System


Information in this article was accurate in January 30, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.