CD4 T cells play a fundamental role in the adaptive immune response including the stimulation of cytotoxic lymphocytes (CTLs). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which infects and kills CD4 T cells causes progressive failure of the immune system. However, HIV particles are also reproduced by the infected CD4 T cells. Therefore, during HIV infection, infected and healthy CD4 T cells act in opposition to each other, reproducing virus particles and activating and stimulating cellular immune responses, respectively. In this investigation, we develop and analyze a simple system of four ordinary differential equations that accounts for these two opposing roles of CD4 T cells. The model illustrates the importance of the CTL immune response during the asymptomatic stage of HIV infection. In addition, the solution behavior exhibits the two stages of infection, asymptomatic and final AIDS stages. In the model, a weak immune response results in a short asymptomatic stage and faster development of AIDS, whereas a strong immune response illustrates the long asymptomatic stage. A model with a latent stage for infected CD4 T cells is also investigated and compared numerically with the original model. The model shows that strong stimulation of CTLs by CD4 T cells is necessary to prevent progression to the AIDS stage.
- CTL response
- Ordinary differential equations
- Stability analysis