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Sex Difference in Amebiasis.

Infection with the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica is much more likely to cause severe, focal liver damage in males than females, although the infection rate is the same in both sexes. The differences in disease susceptibility may be due to modulation of key mechanisms of the innate immune response by sex hormones. Complement-mediated mechanisms and estrogen-dependent activated natural killer T cells lead to early elimination of the parasite in females, whereas a pathological immune axis is triggered in males. Testosterone, which is generally thought to have more immunosuppressive properties on cells of the immune response, leads to overwhelming activation of monocytes and host-dependent destruction of liver tissue in males resulting in worse outcomes.

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