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

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Cell Line
  • Cross Protection*
  • Dogs
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / immunology*
  • Lung / virology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / mortality
  • Sex Factors
  • Viral Load


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G