Men experience more severe outcomes from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than women. Golden Syrian hamsters were used to explore sex differences in the pathogenesis of a human isolate of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). After inoculation, male hamsters experienced greater sickness, developed more severe lung pathology, and recovered more slowly than females. Sex differences in disease could not be reversed by estradiol treatment in males and were not explained by either virus replication kinetics or the concentrations of inflammatory cytokines in the lungs. During the recovery period, antiviral antibody responses in the respiratory tract and plasma, including to newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, were greater in female than in male hamsters. Greater lung pathology during the acute phase combined with lower antiviral antibody responses during the recovery phase of infection in males than in females illustrate the utility of golden Syrian hamsters as a model to explore sex differences in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and vaccine-induced immunity and protection.
Result from nanoScan® PET/CT
Full artticle at American Society of Microbiology
FIG 1 SARS-CoV-2-infected male hamsters experience greater disease than females. (A) To evaluate morbidity, the percent change in body mass from preinoculation was measured up to 28 dpi. (B) Representative coronal, transverse, and sagittal chest CT images from SARS-CoV-2-infected male and female animals are shown. Lung lesions (GGO, consolidation, and air bronchogram) are marked by the dashed yellow lines. (C) Maximum intensity projections (MIP) marking total (red) and diseased lung (yellow) for both males and females are shown. (D) The CT score is higher in male hamsters than in female hamsters at 7 dpi. Weights are represented as mean ± standard error of the mean from two independent replications (n = 9 to 10/group), and significant differences between groups are denoted by asterisks (*P < 0.05) based on two-way repeated measures ANOVA followed by Bonferroni’s multiple comparison (A). Chest CT data are represented as median ± interquartile range from two independent replications (n = 12 to 15/group), and significance is denoted by an asterisk (*P < 0.05) based on an unpaired two-tailed Mann-Whitney test (D).
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