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Abstract

Studies done on interactions between spores and macrophages done in vitro show inconsistent results based on experimental protocol and inhibit meaningful extrapolation to in vivo. In this study, we perform a sensitivity analysis of a model representing in vitro studies of interactions between anthrax spores and macrophages to help address the effects of these inconsistencies. We perform both local and global analyses using Latin hypercube sampling and partial rank correlation coefficients. Our analysis indicates the amount of intracellular bacteria over time is most sensitive to the killing of intracellular bacteria by the macrophages and replication of the bacteria inside the macrophage. Extracellular germination rates are shown to affect the amount of intracellular bacteria only during the incubation period, due to the assumption that any remaining extracellular bacteria is assumed to be washed away after the incubation period.

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