Sex-associated hormones and immunity to protozoan parasites

Citation
Cw. Roberts et al., Sex-associated hormones and immunity to protozoan parasites, CLIN MICROB, 14(3), 2001, pp. 476
Citations number
158
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Microbiology
Journal title
CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY REVIEWS
ISSN journal
0893-8512 → ACNP
Volume
14
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Database
ISI
SICI code
0893-8512(200107)14:3<476:SHAITP>2.0.ZU;2-8
Abstract
Numerous epidemiological and clinical studies have noted differences in the incidence and severity of parasitic diseases between males and females. Al though in some instances this may be due to gender-associated differences i n behavior; there is overwhelming evidence that sex-associated hormones can also modulate immune responses and consequently directly influence the out come of parasitic infection. Animal models of disease can often recreate th e gender-dependent differences observed in humans, and the role of sex-asso ciated hormones can be confirmed by experimentally altering their levels. U nder normal circumstances, levels of sex hormones not only differ between m ales and females bur vary according to age. Furthermore, not only are femal es of reproductive age subject to the regular hormonal cycles which control ovulation, they are also exposed to dramatically altered levels during pre gnancy It is thus not surprising that the severity of many diseases, includ ing those caused by parasites, has been shown to be affected by one or more of these circumstances. In addition, infection with many pathogens has bee n shown to have an adverse influence on pregnancy lit this article we revie w the impact of sex-associated hormones on the immune system and the develo pment and maintenance of immunity to the intracellular protozoan parasites Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium spp., and Leishmania spp.