Hepatitis C virus RNA detection in different semen fractions of HCV/HIV-1 co-infected men by nested PCR.
ABSTRACT The aim was to evaluate, by nested PCR, the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA in seminal plasma in different semen fractions of HCV/HIV-1 co-infected men.
This study enrolled 16 HCV/HIV-1 infected men. A total of 16 seminal samples and 16 blood samples were tested for the presence of HCV-RNA. HCV-RNA in blood plasma was quantified by Amplicor HCV Monitor Test version 2.0 and HCV-RNA detection in seminal plasma, non-spermatozoa cells (NSCs), spermatozoa pellet and swim-up was investigated by nested PCR.
Thirteen blood plasma samples were positive for HCV-RNA. HCV-RNA was detectable in seminal plasma and in non-sperm cells, but not detectable in spermatozoa samples, neither before nor after swim-up. One of the two patients whose seminal plasma tested positive at nested PCR had undetectable HCV virus in blood plasma.
HCV-RNA can be found in seminal plasma and non-sperm cells but not in spermatozoa before and after swim-up. We observed HCV-RNA in the semen of an aviremic man. According to these findings we suggest that sperm washing should be performed for each semen sample of HCV patients before assisted reproduction techniques.