"Modeling the impact of inoculum dose and transmission mode on viral infection with an agent-based model"
In a virus study, the inoculum dose is the initial amount of virus used. It is correlated to the initial amount of cells that become infected at the start of the study and thereby also correlated with the amount of virus that will be produced by infected cells at the beginning of that study. Those virus spread through a body in two known ways: cell free transmission and cell to cell transmission. While previous research has investigated viruses based on free cell transmission, few models have incorporated cell to cell transmission leading to unclear results and bias to certain variables. This research accounts for both modes of transmission, using an agent-based framework, and varies the initial amount of virus, to understand how inoculum dose affects the two transmission modes. Utilizing parallel processing, the model represents virus infection and spread in a two-dimensional layer of cells in order to generate total virus over time graphs for corresponding initial amount of virus. This project demonstrates how a combination of agent-based models and parallel processing can allow researchers to perform the rapid and large simulations necessary for viral dynamics research efficiently and affordably.