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Sex differences in opisthorchiosis and the development of cholangiocarcinoma in Syrian hamster model

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Worldwide, the highest incidence of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is found in northeast Thailand, the endemic area of Opisthorchis viverrini infection. Cumulated clinical data revealed that the majority of CCA patients are men. However, many other types of cancers are more commonly found in women. In this study, we investigated the sex differences in the development of CCA, induced by O. viverrini infection and N-nitrosodimethylamine administration, in Syrian hamsters. Histopathology, liver function tests, and fecal egg counts were analyzed. The results showed that there are no sex differences in hamsters responses to O. viverrini infection and no prevalence of CCA development. Even though serum ALT level in O. viverrini-infected or CCA hamsters was significantly increased in female compared to male (p < 0.05) and uninfected control (p < 0.05), our results may imply that the higher prevalence of opisthorchiasis and CCA in men than in women in northeast Thailand may depend on behaviors of an individual exposed to risk factors rather than gender difference.

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This work was supported by the Thailand Research Fund through grant number RMU5480002, Khon Kaen University (KKU550405), and capital development capability in postgraduate research education, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, and the Higher Education Research Promotion and National Research University Project of Thailand, Office of the Higher Education Commission, through the health cluster (SHep-GMS). We thank the Department of Parasitology, Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, the Animal Experimental Unit, Faculty of Medicine (I56203), Khon Kaen University, for their support.

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Correspondence to Thidarut Boonmars.

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Sudsarn, P., Wongchalee, N., Boonmars, T. et al. Sex differences in opisthorchiosis and the development of cholangiocarcinoma in Syrian hamster model. Parasitol Res 113, 829–835 (2014).

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