Frontiers in Microbiology (Jun 2018)

Development of a Computational Model of Abscess Formation

  • Alexandre B. Pigozzo,
  • Dominique Missiakas,
  • Sergio Alonso,
  • Rodrigo W. dos Santos,
  • Marcelo Lobosco

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9


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In some bacterial infections, the immune system cannot eliminate the invading pathogen. In these cases, the invading pathogen is successful in establishing a favorable environment to survive and persist in the host organism. For example, S. aureus bacteria survive in organ tissues employing a set of mechanisms that work in a coordinated and highly regulated way allowing: (1) efficient impairment of the immune response; and (2) protection from the immune cells and molecules. S. aureus secretes several proteins including coagulases and toxins that drive abscess formation and persistence. Unless staphylococcal abscesses are surgically drained and treated with antibiotics, disseminated infection and septicemia produce a lethal outcome. Within this context, this paper develops a simple mathematical model of abscess formation incorporating characteristics that we judge important for an abscess to be formed. Our aim is to build a mathematical model that reproduces some characteristics and behaviors that are observed in the process of abscess formation.