A novel viral infection model to guide optimal mpox treatment

Maarten de Jong, Francesca Cala Campana, Pengfei Li, Qiuwei Pan, Giulia Giordano

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In 2022, worldwide mpox outbreaks have called attention to mpox virus infection and treatment opportunities using the drugs cidofovir and tecovirimat, which target different stages of in-host viral proliferation, respectively production and shedding. We propose a new model of in-host viral infection dynamics that distinguishes between the two stages, so as to explore the distinct effects of the two drugs, and we analyse the model properties and behaviour. Reducing the model order via timescale separation is shown to lead to the classical target-cell limited model, with a lumped viral proliferation rate depending on both production and shedding. We explicitly introduce the effect of the two drugs and we exemplify how to formulate and solve an optimal control problem that leverages the model dynamics to schedule optimal combined treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3145-3150
JournalIEEE Control Systems Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Analytical models
  • Antiviral therapies
  • Coronaviruses
  • Drugs
  • Extracellular
  • In-host models
  • Infection models
  • Infectious diseases
  • Optimal control
  • Production
  • Sociology
  • Statistics


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