Dr Kutschera discusses the differences between males and females in relation to infection from the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“COVID-19”, displays a strong gender-specific occurrence that may be explained in the light of evolution. Four decades ago, A. D. Pickering and P. Christie published a remarkable article entitled “Sexual differences in the incidence and severity of ectoparasitic infestation of the brown trout, Salmo trutta L.” (1). The authors reported that adult males of this fish species are more frequently (and severely) infested by a number of parasites than females of the same age.
Remarkably, juvenile fish of both genders were found to be less attacked compared to sexually mature males (1). Numerous papers that were subsequently published “in the wake of Pickering & Christie 1980” have documented that there are gender-specific (or “sex-based”) differences in immunological responses, both to foreign and self-antigens. As a result, in 2009, M. Zuk (2) labelled males as “the sicker sex”.
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