Chris Bowman

(Department of Mathematics, NRC IBD)

Optimal Control for an Influenza Pandemic

Date Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The control of an emergent influenza pandemic is a major public health challenge. Since pandemic influenza will likely be a novel strain, it is unlikely that a vaccine will be available until quite late in the pandemic. While non-pharmaceutical measures can be effective in curtailing the spread of the disease, the pandemic response plan will likely also include the use of anti-viral drugs. Unfortunately, the widespread use of these anti virals will generate selective pressure for the emergence and transmission of drug-resistant strains. Furthermore, it is possible that drug stockpiles will be limited, leading to potential run out and drug shortages.

I will present a mathematical model for the spread of pandemic influenza which includes the effects of anti-viral treatment, including the transmission of an anti-viral resistant strain of the virus. Principals of control theory will be applied to search for optimal strategies to control the pandemic, using several cost functions and taking into account the effects of limited anti-viral supply.