Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004 Aug;36(8):1290-5.

Gender differences in viral infection after repeated exercise stress.

Author information

Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, SC, USA.


Fatiguing exercise can increase susceptibility to respiratory infection after intranasal inoculation with herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) in male mice. Although gender differences in susceptibility to certain pathogens do exist, it is unknown whether female mice will respond differently than males in response to strenuous exercise and HSV-1 infection.


To test the effects of gender on susceptibility to HSV-1 respiratory infection after repeated exhaustive exercise.


Male (N = 86) and female (N = 89) CD-1 mice (approximately 60 d old) were randomly assigned to exercise (Ex) or control (C) groups. Exercise consisted of 3 d of treadmill running at 36 m x min(-1) at 8% grade until volitional fatigue (135 +/- 5min). Fifteen minutes after the last bout of exercise, Ex and C mice were inoculated intranasally with a standard dose (LD30) of HSV-1. Mice were monitored for 21 d for morbidity (time to sickness and symptom severity) and mortality.


Run time to fatigue was significantly longer in females than males (P = 0.027). Significant gender differences in susceptibility to infection were found after exercise stress. In males, exercise stress resulted in increased morbidity (66%, P < 0.05) and mortality (30%, P < 0.05) whereas in females, exercise stress only resulted in increased morbidity (66%, P < 0.05).


Results suggest that although males and females have similar morbidity rates after infection and exercise stress, females recover to a greater extent and are ultimately better protected from death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wolters Kluwer
    Loading ...
    Support Center