A new study has identified a link between certain genes affected by testosterone and antibody responses to an influenza vaccine. The findings suggest that testosterone levels may partially explain why men often have weaker responses to vaccines than women. The study, led by researchers at Stanford University, was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Previous research has shown that men typically experience more severe viral and other microbial infections than women, who tend to mount stronger immune responses to infections and vaccinations. In the new study, researchers analyzed the antibody responses of 53 women and 34 men of various ages to the 2008-2009 seasonal influenza vaccine. Compared to the men, the women produced antibodies that in laboratory tests could more effectively neutralize the influenza virus.
Source: National Institutes of Health