Chapter 2. An Agent-Based Model of Infectious Diseases That Incorporates the Roles of Immune Cells and Antibodies


Shigeaki Ogibayashi
Chiba Institute of Technology, Chiba, Japan

Part of the book: Infectious Diseases: From Prevention to Control


In this study, an agent-based infection model focusing on recovery process modeling was constructed, and the following results were obtained. The present model well reproduced the qualitative features of the chronological pattern in the numbers of newly infected, newly recovered, and total infected agents observed in the real world. The factors of the model that are indispensable for reproducing the actual pandemic are the roles of fever and antibodies, which increase the upper limit of the rate of virus replication for pandemic convergence. The role of fever is modeled as the effect of immunity increasing with an increasing number of viruses, and the role of antibodies is modeled as antibodies emerging when the immunity is insufficient to keep up with virus replication. The critical factor determining whether pandemic convergence occurs is whether the system includes severely infected agents whose immune response cannot keep up with the virus replication rate. Such severely infected agents are characterized by a high body temperature and a massive number of viruses. To control infection spread, it is essential to identify infected individuals, especially severely infected ones, and isolate them from the system. Measuring body temperature is effective in identifying severely infected individuals, rather than PCR tests, because fever is a sign of being infected and also provides information about the severity of infection, while PCR tests provide information only in a dichotomous positive/negative format. To overcome the pandemic while minimizing the economic impact, it is effective to identify and isolate infected individuals by monitoring body temperature and refusing entry of those infected at national borders, such as airports, and also in densely populated places. It is also effective for individuals to determine their own infection status by monitoring their own body temperature. Wearing masks and providing ventilation in densely populated spaces are also effective because they decrease the number of viruses at the time of infection.

Keywords: agent-based model, infectious disease, SARS-CoV-2, immune cell, antibody, fever, virus, viral particle, pandemic, convergence, infection, recovery


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