Modelling the linkage between influenza infection and cardiovascular events via thrombosis.


There is a heavy burden associated with influenza including all-cause hospitalization as well as severe cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory events. Influenza associated cardiac events have been linked to multiple biological pathways in a human host. To study the contribution of influenza virus infection to cardiovascular thrombotic events, we develop a dynamic model which incorporates some key elements of the host immune response, inflammatory response, and blood coagulation. We formulate these biological systems and integrate them into a cohesive modelling framework to show how blood clotting may be connected to influenza virus infection. With blood clot formation inside an artery resulting from influenza virus infection as the primary outcome of this integrated model, we demonstrate how blood clot severity may depend on circulating prothrombin levels. We also utilize our model to leverage clinical data to inform the threshold level of the inflammatory cytokine TNFα which initiates tissue factor induction and subsequent blood clotting. Our model provides a tool to explore how individual biological components contribute to blood clotting events in the presence of influenza infection, to identify individuals at risk of clotting based on their circulating prothrombin levels, and to guide the development of future vaccines to optimally interact with the immune system.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

McCarthy, Zachary, Shixin Xu, Ashrafur Rahman, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Vicente F Corrales-Medina, Jason Lee, Bruce T Seet, Dion Neame, et al. (2020). Modelling the linkage between influenza infection and cardiovascular events via thrombosis. Scientific reports, 10(1). p. 14264. 10.1038/s41598-020-70753-0 Retrieved from

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Shixin Xu

Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Duke Kunshan University

Shixin Xu is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics.   His research interests are machine learning and data-driven models for diseases,  multiscale modeling of complex fluids, Neurovascular coupling, homogenization theory, and numerical analysis.  The current projects he is working on are

  • image data-based for the prediction of hemorrhagic transformation in acute ischemic stroke,
  • electrodynamics modeling of saltatory conduction along a myelinated axon
  • electrochemical modeling
  • fluid-structure interaction with mass transportation and reaction

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