Patch formation driven by stochastic effects of interaction between viruses and defective interfering particles

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1011513
Journal / PublicationPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number10
Online published2 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023



Defective interfering particles (DIPs) are virus-like particles that occur naturally during virus infections. These particles are defective, lacking essential genetic materials for replication, but they can interact with the wild-type virus and potentially be used as therapeutic agents. However, the effect of DIPs on infection spread is still unclear due to complicated stochastic effects and nonlinear spatial dynamics. In this work, we develop a model with a new hybrid method to study the spatial-temporal dynamics of viruses and DIPs co-infections within hosts. We present two different scenarios of virus production and compare the results from deterministic and stochastic models to demonstrate how the stochastic effect is involved in the spatial dynamics of virus transmission. We compare the spread features of the virus in simulations and experiments, including the formation and the speed of virus spread and the emergence of stochastic patchy patterns of virus distribution. Our simulations simultaneously capture observed spatial spread features in the experimental data, including the spread rate of the virus and its patchiness. The results demonstrate that DIPs can slow down the growth of virus particles and make the spread of the virus more patchy. © 2023 Liang et al.

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