Quantification of type i interferon inhibition by viral proteins: Ebola virus as a case study
Locke M., Lythe G., López-García M., Muñoz-Fontela C., Carroll M., Molina-París C.
Type I interferons (IFNs) are cytokines with both antiviral properties and protective roles in innate immune responses to viral infection. They induce an antiviral cellular state and link innate and adaptive immune responses. Yet, viruses have evolved different strategies to inhibit such host responses. One of them is the existence of viral proteins which subvert type I IFN responses to allow quick and successful viral replication, thus, sustaining the infection within a host. We propose mathematical models to characterise the intra-cellular mechanisms involved in viral protein antagonism of type I IFN responses, and compare three different molecular inhibition strategies. We study the Ebola viral protein, VP35, with this mathematical approach. Approximate Bayesian computation sequential Monte Carlo, together with experimental data and the mathematical models proposed, are used to perform model calibration, as well as model selection of the different hypotheses considered. Finally, we assess if model parameters are identifiable and discuss how such identifiability can be improved with new experimental data.