Date Published: February 8, 2018
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Gilberto Gonzàlez-Parra, Filip De Ridder, Dymphy Huntjens, Dirk Roymans, Gabriela Ispas, Hana M. Dobrovolny, Jie Sun.
Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cause acute infections of the respiratory tract. Since the viruses both cause illnesses with similar symptoms, researchers often try to apply knowledge gleaned from study of one virus to the other virus. This can be an effective and efficient strategy for understanding viral dynamics or developing treatment strategies, but only if we have a full understanding of the similarities and differences between the two viruses. This study used mathematical modeling to quantitatively compare the viral kinetics of in vitro RSV and influenza virus infections. Specifically, we determined the viral kinetics parameters for RSV A2 and three strains of influenza virus, A/WSN/33 (H1N1), A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1), and pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. We found that RSV viral titer increases at a slower rate and reaches its peak value later than influenza virus. Our analysis indicated that the slower increase of RSV viral titer is caused by slower spreading of the virus from one cell to another. These results provide estimates of dynamical differences between influenza virus and RSV and help provide insight into the virus-host interactions that cause observed differences in the time courses of the two illnesses in patients.
Acute respiratory tract infections with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza are leading causes of respiratory illness . Both infections produce similar symptoms and lead to serious illness primarily in the young and the elderly [2, 3]. Given these similarities, it can be useful to compare the viral dynamics of the two viruses in cells because this may help to understand the different viral dynamics in patients, and consequently to translate the knowledge of treating one illness to help treating the other.
In summary, our analysis has found differences between influenza virus and RSV dynamics in vitro that are consistent with observed differences in influenza virus and RSV dynamics in vivo . Our finding of differences in infecting time suggests a possible mechanism at the virus-cell level for the differences observed in vivo and in vitro. The mechanism of different infecting times is supported by known differences in the diffusion rates of the two viruses, although this is not the only factor that determines infecting time. More consistent experiments, as suggested in the discussion, should further help develop our understanding of the differences in RSV and influenza virus dynamics.