The reading WAidid suggests this week is a recent correspondence appeared in Nature about the importance of sex differences in immunity: Sexes deal differently with infection, by Sara Reardon
The immune systems of men and women respond very differently to infection — and scientists are taking notice. Research recently presented at a microbiology meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, suggests that the split could influence the design of vaccination programmes and lead to more targeted treatment of illness. Hints that men and women deal with infection differently have been around for some time. Yet very few studies assess men and women separately, so any sex-specific effects are masked. Many clinical trials include only men, because menstrual cycles and pregnancies can complicate the results. Now, scientists are beginning to tease out some precise mechanisms.
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