Optimal latent period in a bacteriophage population model structured by infection-age

We study the lysis timing of a bacteriophage population by means of a continuously infection-age-structured population dynamics model. The features of the model are the infection process of bacteria, the death process, and the lysis process which means the replication of bacteriophage viruses inside bacteria and the destruction of them. The time till lysis (or latent period) is assumed to have an arbitrary distribution. We have carried out an optimization procedure, and we have found that the latent period corresponding to maximal fitness (i.e. maximal growth rate of the bacteriophage population) is of fixed length. We also study the dependence of the optimal latent period on the amount of susceptible bacteria and the number of virions released by a single infection. Finally, the evolutionarily stable strategy of the latent period is also determined as a fixed period taking into account that super-infections are not considered ​
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