Tuberculosis is a leading cause of death from infectious diseases worldwide with more than 1.5 million deaths occurring annually. Males have been known to be more susceptible to tuberculosis than females. Sex hormones could be an important factor governing this gender bias. Here, we discuss the evidence that testosterone may be a crucial factor in male susceptibility to tuberculosis considering that testosterone impairs important factors which have a significant bearing on the outcome of tuberculosis. We also discuss possible underlying mechanisms through which testosterone modulates the immune response that is necessary for host resistance to tuberculosis. We discuss various models that have helped to uncover the role of testosterone in the outcome of infection by M. tuberculosis. Studying the role of testosterone on the various components that constitute the immune response to the disease have provided valuable insights into the sexual dichotomy observed in male bias in tuberculosis morbidity.
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Testosterone in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis