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Correction published on 23 March 2019, see Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 51.
Open AccessArticle

Differential Susceptibility of Male Versus Female Laboratory Mice to Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, School of Medicine, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3030078
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past and Present Threat of Rickettsial Diseases)
Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) is a debilitating, non-specific febrile illness caused by the granulocytotropic obligate intracellular bacterium called Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Surveillance studies indicate a higher prevalence of HGA in male versus female patients. Whether this discrepancy correlates with differential susceptibility of males and females to A. phagocytophilum infection is unknown. Laboratory mice have long been used to study granulocytic anaplasmosis. Yet, sex as a biological variable (SABV) in this model has not been evaluated. In this paper, groups of male and female C57Bl/6 mice that had been infected with A. phagocytophilum were assessed for the bacterial DNA load in the peripheral blood, the percentage of neutrophils harboring bacterial inclusions called morulae, and splenomegaly. Infected male mice exhibited as much as a 1.85-fold increase in the number of infected neutrophils, which is up to a 1.88-fold increase in the A. phagocytophilum DNA load, and a significant increase in spleen size when compared to infected female mice. The propensity of male mice to develop a higher level of A. phagocytophilum infection is relevant for studies utilizing the mouse model. This stresses the importance of including SABV and aligns with the observed higher incidence of infection in male versus female patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaplasmosis; anaplasmataceae; mouse model; sex as a biological variable; morula; intracellular bacteria; gender differences to infection anaplasmosis; anaplasmataceae; mouse model; sex as a biological variable; morula; intracellular bacteria; gender differences to infection
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Naimi, W.A.; Green, R.S.; Cockburn, C.L.; Carlyon, J.A. Differential Susceptibility of Male Versus Female Laboratory Mice to Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3, 78.

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Trop. Med. Infect. Dis., EISSN 2414-6366, Published by MDPI AG
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