Sex differences in salmonellosis incidence rates—an eight-country national data-pooled analysis

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Background: There are few studies on sex differences in the incidence rates (IR) for salmonellosis over several countries by age and time period. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent and consistency of the sex and age-specific differences. Methods: We analyzed national data from eight countries between 1994 and 2016. We computed country-specific male to female incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for each age group and pooled the data using meta-analytic methods. Variations of the IRRs by age, country and time period were evaluated using meta-regression. Results: The pooled male to female incidence RRs for ages 0–1, 1–4, 5–9 and 10–14, were 1.04 (1.02–1.06), 1.02 (1.01–1.03), 1.07 (1.05–1.08) and 1.28 (1.23–1.33), respectively. For the ages 15–44 and 45–64, the incidence rates were significantly higher in females. Meta-regression analyses indicate that age groups contributed most of the variation in the male to female IRRs. Conclusions: We suggest that genetic and hormonal factors and interactions between hormones and gut microbiota could contribute to the sex differences observed in young children. These findings should provide clues about the mechanisms of the infection, and should be useful in targeting treatments and development of vaccines. Highlights: (1) This manuscript provides consistent estimates of the excess salmonellosis incidence rates in male children up to age 15, which suggests an impact of sex hormones or genetic differences. (2) Our findings should promote the further investigations on sex-related determinants of infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5767
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number24
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Hormones
  • Incidence rates
  • Salmonellosis
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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