Influenza Virus Subdued by Estrogen in Female Nasal Cultures

January 18, 2016
Grace Halsey
Grace Halsey

"Man Flu May be Real" reads a recent headline as reporters pick up results of a study on the impact of estrogen against influenza A. More, here.

The popular press was quick to promote results of a new study that found estrogen and estrogenic compounds reduce the severity of infection with influenza A virus in women far more effectively in men--thus the headline "Man Flu May be Real" and others like it. The finding that estrogen has antiviral properties isn't novel but the study authors, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wanted to know if the effects could be sex-specific and what the underlying mechanism(s) might be.Click through the slide show above for the study methods, results, and implications.