Sex matters

Male hamsters are more susceptible to lethal infection with lower doses of pathogenic leptospira than female hamsters

Charles K. Gomes, Mariana Guedes, Hari Hara Potula, Odir A. Dellagostin, Maria Gomes-Solecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A somewhat contradictory published body of evidence suggests that sex impacts severity outcomes of human leptospirosis. In this study, we used an acute animal model of disease to analyze leptospirosis in male and female hamsters infected side by side with low but increasing doses of Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni. We found that male hamsters were considerably more susceptible to leptospirosis, given that only 6.3% survived infection, whereas 68.7% of the females survived the same infection doses. In contrast to the females, male hamsters had high burdens of L. interrogans in kidney and high histopathological scores after exposure to low infection doses (-10 3 bacteria). In hamsters infected with higher doses of L. interrogans (-10 4 bacteria), differences in pathogen burdens as well as cytokine and fibrosis transcript levels in kidney were not distinct between sexes. Our results indicate that male hamsters infected with L. interrogans are more susceptible to severe leptospirosis after exposure to lower infectious doses than females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00369-18
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume86
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

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Leptospira
Leptospira interrogans
Leptospirosis
Cricetinae
Infection
Bacteria
Kidney
Animal Disease Models
Fibrosis
Cytokines

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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Sex matters : Male hamsters are more susceptible to lethal infection with lower doses of pathogenic leptospira than female hamsters. / Gomes, Charles K.; Guedes, Mariana; Potula, Hari Hara; Dellagostin, Odir A.; Gomes-Solecki, Maria.

In: Infection and Immunity, Vol. 86, No. 10, e00369-18, 01.10.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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