Health economic modeling has become an invaluable methodology for the design and evaluation of clinical and public health interventions against the human papillomavirus (HPV) and associated diseases. At the same time, relatively little attention has been paid to a different yet complementary class of models, namely that of mechanistic mathematical models. The primary focus of mechanistic mathematical models is to better understand the intricate biologic mechanisms and dynamics of disease. Inspired by a long and successful history of mechanistic modeling in other biomedical fields, we highlight several areas of HPV research where mechanistic models have the potential to advance the field. We argue that by building quantitative bridges between biologic mechanism and population level data, mechanistic mathematical models provide a unique platform to enable collaborations between experimentalists who collect data at different physical scales of the HPV infection process. Through such collaborations, mechanistic mathematical models can accelerate and enhance the investigation of HPV and related diseases.
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Ryser, M., Gravitt, P., & Myers, E. R. (2017). Mechanistic mathematical models: An underused platform for HPV research. Papillomavirus Research, 3 (). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pvr.2017.01.004