A chemostat model of bacteriophage-bacteria interaction with infinite distributed delays

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Bacteriophage (phage) are viruses that infect bacteria. Typical laboratory experiments show that in a chemostat containing phage and susceptible bacteria species, a mutant bacteria species will evolve. This mutant species

Bacteriophage (phage) are viruses that infect bacteria. Typical laboratory experiments show that in a chemostat containing phage and susceptible bacteria species, a mutant bacteria species will evolve. This mutant species is usually resistant to the phage infection and less competitive compared to the susceptible bacteria species. In some experiments, both susceptible and resistant bacteria species, as well as phage, can coexist at an equilibrium for hundreds of hours. The current research is inspired by these observations, and the goal is to establish a mathematical model and explore sufficient and necessary conditions for the coexistence. In this dissertation a model with infinite distributed delay terms based on some existing work is established. A rigorous analysis of the well-posedness of this model is provided, and it is proved that the susceptible bacteria persist. To study the persistence of phage species, a "Phage Reproduction Number" (PRN) is defined. The mathematical analysis shows phage persist if PRN > 1 and vanish if PRN < 1. A sufficient condition and a necessary condition for persistence of resistant bacteria are given. The persistence of the phage is essential for the persistence of resistant bacteria. Also, the resistant bacteria persist if its fitness is the same as the susceptible bacteria and if PRN > 1. A special case of the general model leads to a system of ordinary differential equations, for which numerical simulation results are presented.