Research on gender differences in infectious immunology is in its infancy. While men are more susceptible to infectious diseases, women are more prone to chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. In order to create better treatment options, it is important to clarify the causes.
The Lotter working group, in which Ms Sellau has been a researcher for four and a half years, is dedicated to precisely this question: Using the amoebic liver abscess, they showed that the male sex hormone testosterone causes certain immune cells, which are actually supposed to protect against invading pathogens, to increase inflammatory reactions in the liver. These immune cells thus contribute significantly to tissue damage. The findings of Dr. Sellau and her colleagues open up new approaches for more targeted personalised medicine.