Sex Matters in Neuroinfectious Diseases

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Abstract

Although sex and gender have a major impact on the susceptibility and immunologic response to infectious diseases, these factors are often neglected. Identifying the mechanisms underlying sex-based differences in infectious diseases will facilitate the rational design and implementation of preventive and therapeutic strategies that reduce risk and improve outcomes for women and men. In this article, we discuss two examples in neuroinfectious diseases of how sex matters: (1) the heightened risk of cerebrovascular disease in women living with HIV infection and (2) the implications of Zika virus infection on sexual and reproductive health and vaccine development for women.

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