Co-infection of wounds with more than one pathogen are frequently observed in the clinical setting and are often more difficult to treat and come along with increased antibiotic resistance. However, the nature of the interaction between multiple pathogens can be manifold and are for many pathogens not yet understood. Two bacterial pathogens that are often found in co-infections are Staphylococcus aureus and Acinatobacter baumanii.
In order to investigate the co-infection of S. aureus and A. baumanii various experiments are performed that form the data basis for the mathematical modeling. In these experiments specific strains are grown either alone or together in various media and cell growth is measured over time.
- Tuchscherr Lab at the University Hospital Jena, Germany
In order to model bacterial co-infections we utilize ordinary differential equations (ODEs) for logistic growth and interaction of the different species. The model is calibrated to the experimental data and estimated parameters such as growth rates and interaction rates are analyzed to gain insights about the nature of the interaction between the species.