Parameter descriptions for epithelial model, default values, biologically realistic ranges and estimated values.

Literature estimates (a) are for cervicovaginal epithelia, while data-derived estimates (b) are for NIKS cell cultures, which are a common cell-line used to model these systems, but are not identical to in vivo cells in the cervicovaginal squamous epithelium (for example the latter cannot form keratinized layers). Thus, estimates are not expected to be identical. Additionally, (a) parameters are measured from systems already at homeostasis, while in (b) the cultures grow-up from a single layer. Parameter values that were chosen for the results to be biologically consistent are labelled as ‘calibrated’. The values ‘fixed*’ and ‘estimated*’ were derived using data (see S1 Text).