During the primary CD8 T-Cell immune response to an intracellular pathogen, CD8 T-Cells undergo exponential proliferation and continuous differentiation, acquiring cytotoxic capabilities to address the infection and memorize the corresponding antigen. After cleaning the organism, the only CD8 T-Cells left are antigen-specific memory cells whose role is to respond stronger and faster in case they are presented this very same antigen again. That is how vaccines work: a small quantity of a weakened pathogen is introduced in the organism to trigger the primary response, generating corresponding memory cells in the process, giving the organism a way to defend himself in case it encounters the same pathogen again.
To investigate this process, we propose a non linear, multi-scale mathematical model of the CD8 T-Cells immune response due to vaccination using a maturity structured partial differential equation. At the intracellular scale, the level of expression of key proteins is modeled by a delay differential equation system, which gives the speeds of maturation for each cell. The population of cells is modeled by a maturity structured equation whose speeds are given by the intracellular model.
We focus here on building the model, as well as its asymptotic study. Finally, we display numerical simulations showing the model can reproduce the biological dynamics of the cell population for both the primary response and the secondary responses.