Acinetobacter baumannii is an extremely versatile multidrug resistant pathogen with a very high mortality rate therefore, it has become crucial to understand the host response during its infection. Given the importance of mice for modelling infection and their role in pre-clinical drug development equal emphasis should be placed on the utilization of both sexes. Through our studies using a murine model of acute pneumonia with A. baumannii, we observed that female mice were more susceptible to infection. Likewise, treatment of male mice with estradiol increased their susceptibility to infection. Analysis of the airway compartment revealed enhanced inflammation and reduced neutrophil and alveolar macrophage numbers compared to male mice. Depletion of either neutrophils or alveolar macrophages was important for bacterial clearance however, depletion of alveolar macrophages further exacerbated female susceptibility due to severe alterations in metabolic homoeostasis. Our data highlights the importance of utilizing both sexes when assessing host immune pathways.


Silvia Pires, Adeline C. Peignier, Jeremy Seto, Davida S. Smyth, Dane Parker


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