Share 
Follow 
AboutDownloadsDocumentsForumsIssuesNews

We've created an agent based model in which cells of the innate (non-specific) immune system respond to a bacterial infection in a shallow, acute skin wound. The user can change rates in the model to compare the time for all the bacteria to be removed (ba


We've created an agent based model in which cells of the innate (non-specific) immune system respond to a bacterial infection in a shallow, acute skin wound. The user can change rates in the model to compare the time for all the bacteria to be removed (bacterial clearance) in a healthy patient compared to a diabetic patient. Diabetic patients are at an increased risk of long-lasting bacterial infections because they have increased glucose sugar levels in their bloodstream and their immune cells are less effective at fighting infection.

Glucose is replenished from the blood stream at a constant rate. If bacteria have accumulated enough energy, they reproduce. Else the bacteria move towards the highest concentration of glucose, and consume it to gain more energy. A bacteria leaves a trail of chemical as it moves. A neutrophil, the first responder to an infection, then appears at the scene, recruiting other neutrophils to join in the fight. The neutrophils follow the chemical trail from the bacteria. Neutrophils leave a trail of immune chemicals which kill bacteria and gobble the bacteria up by phagocytosis if they get close enough. Later, macrophages appear at the scene which also release immune chemicals and gobble up bacteria. The macrophages are more effective at killing bacteria than neutrophils, but are slower to respond to the infection. Over time, the build-up of chemicals from the bacteria and immune cells damages the tissue.

Feedback