A decision-support modelling toolset for anthrax infection and treatment
The aim of this PhD project is to develop an anthrax modelling toolset, which can be used to inform hazard assessment, operational analysis and medical counter-measure studies.
The toolset will consist of two principal modules:
1) Human infection module: a within-host mechanistic model of the infection process of anthrax within humans will be developed (bacterial growth and toxin production). This module will predict the probability of infection and the time to symptoms for an individual exposed to a given dose of anthrax. Published data from animal models (primarily primate) will be leveraged, together with available human clinical case data.
2) Medical treatment module: a within-host mechanistic model of the effect of a range of treatments (e.g., different varieties of antibiotic) will be developed, allowing different dosing strategies to be tested. Published pharmacokinetic data will be leveraged in model development.
These two modules will be integrated to provide a tool that can be used to predict the consequences of a deliberate aerosol release of anthrax, and to investigate optimal treatment strategies in both military and civilian contexts. The toolset will allow different medical countermeasures to be tested in silico and will also allow alternative scenarios, such as antibiotic resistance, to be explored.