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Vaccine. 2011 Nov 15;29(49):9246-55. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.09.110. Epub 2011 Oct 6.

Antibody responses and cross protection against lethal influenza A viruses differ between the sexes in C57BL/6 mice.

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The W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, United States.


A mouse model was used to determine if protective immunity to influenza A virus infection differs between the sexes. The median lethal dose of H1N1 or H3N2 was lower for naïve females than males. After a sublethal, primary infection with H1N1 or H3N2, females and males showed a similar transient morbidity, but females generated more neutralizing and total anti-influenza A virus antibodies. Immunized males and females showed similar protection against secondary challenge with a homologous virus, but males experienced greater morbidity and had higher lung viral titers after infection with a lethal dose of heterologous virus. Females develop stronger humoral immune responses and greater cross protection against heterosubtypic virus challenge.

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