This module provides an introduction to infectious diseases, the main components of the immune system, and mathematical modeling. Using pathogens such as HIV, TB, malaria, influenza and others, this module will introduce basic immunological concepts and explain how to use mathematical models to study aspects of within-host infection dynamics. The focus will be on simple compartmental deterministic models. The use of those models to analyze the dynamics of pathogens, innate and adaptive immune responses and to design and evaluate intervention strategies, such as vaccines and drug treatments, are covered. Hands-on exercises using the programming language R will show how to construct and implement models. Prior knowledge of R is helpful but not required.
Suggested background reading: How the Immune System Works, by Sompayrac, L.M., Wiley-Blackwell, 3rd edition, 2008.