Due to a higher presence of a lung-healing protein, men may recover quicker from cases of the flu than women, a recent Johns Hopkins study says.
Scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health focused on a growth protein important in wound healing called amphiregulin in their study titled "Biology and Sex Differences."
After infecting live mice and human cells with the influenza virus, scientist saw that the male mice recovered more quickly than female mice, and male mice lacking amphiregulin recovered at similar rates as the female mice.
“The novel finding here is that females also have slower tissue-repair during recovery, due to relatively low production of amphiregulin,” says senior study author Sabra Klein, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School.
The hope is that research like this could lead to new flue treatments that boost the levels of amphiregulin production, particularly in women, Klein said.