Well, sounds like surrogate here is the "replacement virus" to study as a model to the "real" one, a substitute for another virus.
In other words, something that act in the same way as the real one.
Retroscreen Virology - Norovirus (Feline Calicivirus – Norovirus ... - [ Traduzir esta página ]... 2007), feline calicivirus is currently the most widely used surrogate virus and is deemed to be an adequate model for norovirus inactivation studies. ...
production.investis.com/rv/research/preclinical/norovirus/ - Em cache
Again, my hunch is, the equivalent in Science to the Engineering surrogate models.
Most engineering design problems require experiments and/or simulations to evaluate design objective and constraint functions as function of design variables. For example, in order to find the optimal airfoil shape for an aircraft wing, an engineer simulates the air flow around the wing for different shape variables (length, curvature, material, ..). For many real world problems, however, a single simulation can take many minutes, hours, or even days to complete. As a result, routine tasks such as design optimization, design space exploration, sensitivity analysis and what-if analysis become impossible since they require thousands or even millions of simulation evaluations.
One way of alleviating this burden is by constructing approximation models, known as surrogate models, response surface models, metamodels or emulators) that mimic the behavior of the simulation model as closely as possible while being computationally cheap(er) to evaluate. Surrogate models are constructed using a data-driven, bottom-up approach. The exact, inner working of the simulation code is not assumed to be known (or even understood), solely the input-output behavior is important. A model is constructed based on modeling the response of the simulator to a limited number of intelligently chosen data points. This approach is also known behavioral modeling or black-box modeling, though the terminology is not always consistent. When only a single design variable is involved, the process is known as curve fitting as illustrated in the Figure.
An important distinction can be made between two different applications of surrogate models. The first involves building small and simple surrogates for use in optimization. Simple surrogates are used to guide the search towards a global optimum. Once the optimum is found the surrogates are discarded. In the second case one is not interested in finding the optimal parameter vector but rather in the global behavior of the system. Here the surrogate is tuned to mimic the underlying model as closely as needed over the complete design space. Such surrogates are a useful, cheap way to gain insight into the global behavior of the system. Optimization can still occur as a post processing step.