Prevalence of sexually transmissible pathogens in semen from asymptomatic male infertility patients with and without leukocytospermia

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Fertility and sterility (Impact Factor: 4.3). 06/2007; 87(5):1087-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.08.109
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine the prevalence of pathogens that cause sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in semen from asymptomatic male infertility patients with and without leukocytospermia (LCS), and associations between STIs, inflammatory markers, and other semen variables.
Retrospective, controlled study.
Academic Medical Center.
Two hundred and forty-one male infertility patients undergoing routine semen analysis: 132 with LCS, and 109 without LCS.
The DNA from STI pathogens (human papillomavirus [HPV], cytomegalovirus [CMV], herpes simplex virus [HSV], human herpesvirus type 6 [HHV-6], Epstein-Barr virus [EBV], hepatitis B virus [HBV], and Chlamydia trachomatis [CT]), routine semen parameters, and markers of accessory gland and epididymal function and inflammation.
The DNA from STI pathogens was detected in 45/241 (18.7%) of the samples (CMV, 8.7%; HPV, 4.5%; HHV-6, 3.7%; HSV, 3.7%; CT, 2.5%; EBV, 0.4%; and HBV, 0%), with no difference in prevalence between the LCS and non-LCS groups. The DNA of STI pathogens in semen was associated with a decrease in sperm concentration, motile sperm concentration, total sperm count, and neutral alpha-glucosidase concentration, whereas LCS was associated with a decrease in total sperm count, percent normal forms, and fructose concentration.
The DNA of STI pathogens was detected in semen from a high percentage of asymptomatic male infertility patients, and was associated with poor semen quality. Efforts to diagnose and treat subclinical genital-tract infections should be intensified.

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