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  • Undergraduate Student
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  • Deputy Director of Center
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  • Director of Center
  • Director of Department
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Published in JCI insight - 30 May 2019

Zychlinsky Scharff A, Rousseau M, Lacerda Mariano L, Canton T, Consiglio CR, Albert ML, Fontes M, Duffy D, Ingersoll MA

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 31145099

JCI Insight 2019 July;4(13):e122998

Sex-based differences influence incidence and outcome of infectious disease. Women have a significantly greater incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI) than men, yet, conversely, male UTI is more persistent with greater associated morbidity. Mechanisms underlying these sex-based differences are unknown, in part due to a lack of experimental models. We optimized a model to transurethrally infect male mice and directly compared UTI in both sexes. Although both sexes were initially equally colonized by uropathogenic E. coli, only male and testosterone-treated female mice remained chronically infected for up to 4 weeks. Female mice had more robust innate responses, including higher IL-17 expression, and increased γδ T cells and group 3 innate lymphoid cells in the bladder following infection. Accordingly, neutralizing IL-17 abolished resolution in female mice, identifying a cytokine pathway necessary for bacterial clearance. Our findings support the concept that sex-based responses to UTI contribute to impaired innate immunity in males and provide a rationale for non-antibiotic-based immune targeting to improve the response to UTI.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31145099