Effect of innate and adaptive immune mechanisms on treatment regimens in an AIDS-related Kaposi's Sarcoma model

Obias Mulenga Chimbola, Edward M. Lungu, Barbara Szomolay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) is the most common AIDS-defining cancer, even as HIV-positive people live longer. Like other herpesviruses, human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) establishes a lifelong infection of the host that in association with HIV infection may develop at any time during the illness. With the increasing global incidence of KS, there is an urgent need of designing optimal therapeutic strategies for HHV-8-related infections. Here we formulate two models with innate and adaptive immune mechanisms, relevant for non-AIDS KS (NAKS) and AIDS-KS, where the initial condition of the second model is given by the equilibrium state of the first one. For the model with innate mechanism (MIM), we define an infectivity resistance threshold that will determine whether the primary HHV-8 infection of B-cells will progress to secondary infection of progenitor cells, a concept relevant for viral carriers in the asymptomatic phase. The optimal control strategy has been employed to obtain treatment efficacy in case of a combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). For the MIM we have shown that KS therapy alone is capable of reducing the HHV-8 load. In the model with adaptive mechanism (MAM), we show that if cART is administered at optimal levels, that is, 0.48 for protease inhibitors, 0.79 for reverse transcriptase inhibitors and 0.25 for KS therapy, both HIV-1 and HHV-8 can be reduced. The predictions of these mathematical models have the potential to offer more effective therapeutic interventions in the treatment of NAKS and AIDS-KS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-249
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Biological Dynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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