Mathematical modeling of fungal infection in immune compromised individuals: Implications for drug treatment

Erika Camacho, Stephen Wirkus, Pamela Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present a mathematical model that describes treatment of a fungal infection in an immune compromised patient in which both susceptible and resistant strains are present. The resulting nonlinear differential equations model the biological outcome, in terms of strain growth and cell number, when an individual, who has both a susceptible and a resistant population of fungus, is treated with a fungicidal or fungistatic drug. The model demonstrates that when the drug is only successful at treating the susceptible strain, low levels of the drug cause both strains to be in stable co-existence and high levels eradicate the susceptible strain while allowing the resistant strain to persist or to multiply unchecked. A modified model is then described in which the drug is changed to one in which both strains are susceptible, and subsequently, at the appropriate level of treatment, complete eradication of both fungal strains ensues. We discuss the model and implications for treatment options within the context of an immune compromised patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 21 2011


  • Bifurcations
  • Fungus
  • Resistant strains
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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