International Journal of Food Microbiology
We developed an agent-based gastric simulator for a human host to illustrate the within host survival mechanisms of Listeria monocytogenes. The simulator incorporates the gastric physiology and digestion processes that are critical for pathogen survival in the stomach. Mathematical formulations for the pH dynamics, stomach emptying time, and survival probability in the presence of gastric acid are integrated in the simulator to evaluate the portion of ingested bacteria that survives in the stomach and reaches the small intestine. The parameters are estimated using in vitro data relevant to the human stomach and L. monocytogenes. The simulator predicts that 5%–29% of ingested bacteria can survive a human stomach and reach the small intestine. In the absence of extensive scientific experiments, which are not feasible on the grounds of ethical and safety concerns, this simulator may provide a supplementary tool to evaluate pathogen survival and subsequent infection, especially with regards to the ingestion of small doses.
Rahman, Ashrafur; Asgary, Ali; Munther, Daniel; Fazil, Aamir; Smith, Ben A.; and Wu, Jianhong, "An Agent-based Simulator for the Gastrointestinal Pathway of Listeria monocytogenes" (2020). Mathematics Faculty Publications. 322.