Volume 98, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



causes visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil. We previously observed that VL is more common in males than females living in endemic neighborhoods, despite similar exposure. Using a larger sample, we document that VL is more common in males than females, but only after puberty. BALB/c and C57BL/6 mouse models confirmed that there is a biological basis for male susceptibility to symptomatic VL, showing higher parasite burdens in males than females. Female C57BL/6 mice generated more antigen-induced cytokines associated with curative responses (interferon-γ, interleukin [IL]-1β). Males expressed higher levels of IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor, which are linked to exacerbated disease. Different parasite lines entered or survived at a higher rate in macrophages of male- than female-origin. These results suggest that males are inherently more susceptible to than females and that mice are a valid model to study this sex-dependent difference.


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  • Received : 14 Jul 2017
  • Accepted : 25 Sep 2017
  • Published online : 20 Nov 2017

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