Optimal Control of Drug Therapy in a Hepatitis B Model
Forde, Jonathan E.
Ciupe, Stanca M.
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Combination antiviral drug therapy improves the survival rates of patients chronically infected with hepatitis B virus by controlling viral replication and enhancing immune responses. Some of these drugs have side effects that make them unsuitable for long-term administration. To address the trade-off between the positive and negative effects of the combination therapy, we investigated an optimal control problem for a delay differential equation model of immune responses to hepatitis virus B infection. Our optimal control problem investigates the interplay between virological and immunomodulatory effects of therapy, the control of viremia and the administration of the minimal dosage over a short period of time. Our numerical results show that the high drug levels that induce immune modulation rather than suppression of virological factors are essential for the clearance of hepatitis B virus.