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Abstract

Influenza A virus is an important respiratory pathogen that poses a considerable threat to public health each year during seasonal epidemics and even more so when a pandemic strain emerges. Understanding the mechanisms involved in controlling an influenza infection within a host is important and could result in new and effective treatment strategies. Kinetic models of influenza viral growth and decay can summarize data and evaluate the biological parameters governing interactions between the virus and the host. Here we discuss recent viral kinetic models for influenza. We show how these models have been used to provide insight into influenza pathogenesis and treatment, and we highlight the challenges of viral kinetic analysis, including accurate model formulation, estimation of important parameters, and the collection of detailed data sets that measure multiple variables simultaneously. WIREs Syst Biol Med 2011 3 429–445 DOI: 10.1002/wsbm.129

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