Man flu or not, study suggests that viruses may play favorites against men.
The gender card seems to play in favor of women or so it seems.
Viruses just hit men harder and cause stronger symptoms for this gender, while women get weaker symptom and carry on.
The New Scientists
narrated the list of gender-discriminating viruses like tuberculosis infected men are likely to die 1.5 times more than women; human papillomavirus, five times more likely to develop as cancer in men; and Epstein-Barr virus are at least twice as likely to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma than women.
It's easier to think that this could've been because of the differences between men and women's immune system, but a new explanation says that women are simply a valuable host - yeah like a sci-fi splicing horror.
According to Francisco Úbeda and Vincent Jansen at Royal Holloway University of London, women can pass infection to their offspring during pregnancy, birth and gestation. The evolutionary pressure rests upon the viruses to be less harsher to women.
To prove this the researchers used mathematical modelling to show the pathogens affecting both sexes and favoring the female as long as the viruses in question be transmitted to a mother host to child.
They started with the established information that still baffles the scientific community, why human T-cell
lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) "progresses to to leukemia much more commonly in Japanese men than Japanese women, but affects both sexes equally in the Caribbean."
To do this the virus should be able to identify if it's inside a woman or a man's body. Jansen says it's not impossible but how exactly the virus can do that, they still have to figure that out.
Jansen knows that there are all sorts of hormonal and other pathways that are slightly different between men and women. They just have to manipulate those pathways if they can locate them so that they can also identify the mechanism.
There is still so much room to further give light to the gender selection pressure of viruses. There are so many what ifs waiting at the bend to turn the longstanding knowledge about viruses affecting genders differently.
But really - what if men find the idea of being vulnerable and sick make them more sick. That's the man flu explained by a non-expert.
See: New Method Keeps Fresh Produce Virus-Free May Be On Its Way!