Anorexia of infection as a mechanism of host defense

Am J Clin Nutr. 1979 Mar;32(3):593-6. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/32.3.593.


The role of anorexia of infection as a mechanism of host defense was studied by force-feeding infected mice to a normal energy intake. Their mortality and survival times were then compared with those of infected mice feeding ad libitum. Mortality was increased and survival time shortened in force fed animals. Our observations suggest that anorexia, by reducing energy intake, has a significant role in the early defense of the host.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anorexia / etiology*
  • Diet
  • Energy Intake
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Listeriosis / complications*
  • Listeriosis / mortality
  • Mice