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1.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 2022 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1982409

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: While SARS-CoV-2 infection appears not to be clinically evident in the testes, indirect inflammatory effects and fever may impair testicular function. To date, few long-term data of semen parameters impairment after recovery and comprehensive andrological evaluation of recovered patients has been published. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether SARS-CoV-2 infection affect male reproductive health. METHODS: Eighty patients were recruited three months after COVID-19 recovery. They performed physical examination, testicular ultrasound, semen analysis, sperm DNA integrity evaluation (TUNEL), anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) testing, sex hormone profile evaluation (Total testosterone, LH, FSH). In addition, all patients were administered International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire (IIEF-15). Sperm parameters were compared with two age-matched healthy pre-COVID-19 control groups of normozoospermic (CTR1) and primary infertile (CTR2) subjects. RESULTS: Median values of semen parameters from recovered SARS-CoV-2 subjects were within WHO 2010 fifth percentile. Mean percentage of sperm DNA fragmentation (%SDF) was 14.1 ± 7.0%. Gelatin Agglutination Test (GAT) was positive in 3.9% of blood serum samples, but no positive semen plasma sample was found. Only five subjects (6.2%) had total testosterone levels below the laboratory reference range. Mean bilateral testicular volume was 31.5 ± 9.6 ml. Erectile dysfunction was detected in 30% of subjects. CONCLUSION: Our data remark that COVID-19 does not seem to cause direct damage to the testicular function, while indirect damage appears to be transient. It is possible to counsel infertile couples to postpone the research of parenthood or ART procedures around three months after recovery from the infection.

2.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 45(12): 2207-2219, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1827488

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The short- and long-term andrological effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have not been clarified. Our aim is to evaluate the available evidence regarding possible andrological consequences of COVID-19 either on seminal or hormonal parameters. The safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in terms of sperm quality was also investigated. METHODS: All prospective and retrospective observational studies reporting information on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) mRNA semen and male genitalia tract detection (n = 19), as well as those reporting data on semen analysis (n = 5) and hormonal parameters (n = 11) in infected/recovered patients without any arbitrary restriction were included. RESULTS: Out of 204 retrieved articles, 35 were considered, including 2092 patients and 1138 controls with a mean age of 44.1 ± 12.6 years, and mean follow-up 24.3 ± 18.9 days. SARS-CoV-2 mRNA can be localized in male genitalia tracts during the acute phase of the disease. COVID-19 can result in short-term impaired sperm and T production. Available data cannot clarify long-term andrological effects. Low T observed in the acute phase of the disease is associated with an increased risk of being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit or death. The two available studies showed that the use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines does not affect sperm quality. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our analysis clearly suggest that each patient recovering from COVID-19 should be monitored to rule out sperm and T abnormalities. The specific contribution of reduced T levels during the acute phase of the infection needs to be better clarified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Adult , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Semen , RNA, Messenger
4.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 44(12): 2675-2684, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504521

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Due to relevant repercussions on reproductive medicine, we aimed to evaluate feasibility of RT-PCR as a detection method of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in seminal fluid. METHODS: A qualitative determination of the RT-PCR assays in semen was performed through different approaches: (1) efficiency of RNA extraction from sperm and seminal plasma was determined using PRM1 and PRM2 mRNA and a heterologous system as control; (2) samples obtained by diluting viral preparation from a SARS-CoV-2 panel (virus cultured in Vero E6 cell lines) were tested; (3) viral presence in different fractions of seminal fluid (whole sample, seminal plasma and post-centrifugation pellet) was evaluated. Semen samples from mild and recovered COVID-19 subjects were collected by patients referring to the Infectious Disease Department of the Policlinico Umberto I Hospital - "Sapienza" University of Rome. Control subjects were recruited at the Laboratory of Seminology-Sperm Bank "Loredana Gandini'' of the same hospital. RESULTS: The control panel using viral preparations diluted in saline and seminal fluid showed the capability to detect viral RNA presence with Ct values depending on the initial viral concentration. All tested semen samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the nasopharyngeal swab result or seminal fluid fraction. CONCLUSION: These preliminary data show that RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing appears to be a feasible method for the molecular diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in seminal fluid, supported by results of the control panel. The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in semen is extremely important for reproductive medicine, especially in assisted reproductive technology and sperm cryopreservation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Pathology, Molecular/methods , Semen/virology , Adult , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Male , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reproductive Techniques , Vero Cells
5.
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation ; 30:30, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209565

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Due to relevant repercussions on reproductive medicine, we aimed to evaluate feasibility of RT-PCR as a detection method of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in seminal fluid. METHODS: A qualitative determination of the RT-PCR assays in semen was performed through different approaches: (1) efficiency of RNA extraction from sperm and seminal plasma was determined using PRM1 and PRM2 mRNA and a heterologous system as control;(2) samples obtained by diluting viral preparation from a SARS-CoV-2 panel (virus cultured in Vero E6 cell lines) were tested;(3) viral presence in different fractions of seminal fluid (whole sample, seminal plasma and post-centrifugation pellet) was evaluated. Semen samples from mild and recovered COVID-19 subjects were collected by patients referring to the Infectious Disease Department of the Policlinico Umberto I Hospital - "Sapienza" University of Rome. Control subjects were recruited at the Laboratory of Seminology-Sperm Bank "Loredana Gandini'' of the same hospital. RESULTS: The control panel using viral preparations diluted in saline and seminal fluid showed the capability to detect viral RNA presence with C<sub>t</sub> values depending on the initial viral concentration. All tested semen samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the nasopharyngeal swab result or seminal fluid fraction. CONCLUSION: These preliminary data show that RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing appears to be a feasible method for the molecular diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in seminal fluid, supported by results of the control panel. The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in semen is extremely important for reproductive medicine, especially in assisted reproductive technology and sperm cryopreservation.

6.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 43(8): 1153-1157, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-973722

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The recent pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) due to coronavirus (CoV) 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has raised several concerns in reproductive medicine. The aim of this review is to summarize available evidence providing an official position statement of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine (SIAMS) METHODS: A comprehensive Pubmed, Web of Science, Embase, Medline and Cochrane library search was performed. Due to the limited evidence and the lack of studies, it was not possible to formulate recommendations according to the Oxford 2011 Levels of Evidence criteria. RESULTS: Several molecular characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 can justify the presence of virus within the testis and possible alterations of spermatogenesis and endocrine function. Orchitis has been reported as a possible complication of SARS-CoV infection, but similar findings have not been reported for SARS-CoV-2. Alternatively, the orchitis could be the result of a vasculitis as COVID-19 has been associated with abnormalities in coagulation and the segmental vascularization of the testis could account for an orchitis-like syndrome. Finally, available data do not support the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in plasma seminal fluid of infected subjects. CONCLUSION: Data derived from other SARS-CoV infections suggest that in patients recovered from COVID-19, especially for those in reproductive age, andrological consultation and evaluation of gonadal function including semen analysis should be suggested. Studies in larger cohorts of currently infected subjects are warranted to confirm (or exclude) the presence of risks for male gametes that are destined either for cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen or for assisted reproduction techniques.


Subject(s)
Andrology/standards , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cryopreservation/standards , Fertility Preservation/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Spermatozoa/physiology , Andrology/trends , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cryopreservation/trends , Fertility Preservation/trends , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Semen Analysis/standards , Semen Analysis/trends , Sexual Health/standards , Societies, Medical/standards
7.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 44(5): 1091-1096, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-845546

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Sperm cryopreservation is fundamental in the management of patients undergoing gonadotoxic treatments. Concerns have risen in relation to SARS-CoV-2 and its potential for testicular involvement, since SARS-CoV-2-positive cryopreserved samples may have unknown effects on fertilization and embryo safety. This study therefore aimed to analyze the safety of sperm cryopreservation for cancer patients after the onset of the pandemic in Italy, through assessment of the risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure and viral RNA testing of semen samples. METHODS: We recruited 10 cancer patients (mean age 30.5 ± 9.6 years) referred to our Sperm Bank during the Italian lockdown (from March 11th to May 4th 2020) who had not undergone a nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 testing. Patients were administered a questionnaire on their exposure to COVID-19, and semen samples were taken. Before cryopreservation, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was extracted from a 150 µl aliquot of seminal fluid in toto using QIAamp viral RNA kit (Qiagen) and amplified by a real time RT PCR system (RealStar SARS-CoV2 RT PCR, Altona Diagnostics) targeting the E and S genes. RESULTS: The questionnaire and medical interview revealed that all patients were asymptomatic and had had no previous contact with COVID-19 infected patients. All semen samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. CONCLUSION: This preliminary assessment suggests that a thorough evaluation (especially in the setting of a multidisciplinary team) and molecular confirmation of the absence of SARS-CoV-2 in seminal fluid from asymptomatic cancer patients may assist in ensuring the safety of sperm cryopreservation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cryopreservation/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Semen Preservation/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Patient Safety , RNA, Viral/analysis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Rome/epidemiology , Sperm Banks , Young Adult
10.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 43(12): 1819-1822, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-108915

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The recent appearance of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan in 2019 has started a pandemic which has involved over a million people worldwide. A matter of debate is the possible viral detection in different body fluids than respiratory droplets. Thus, we evaluated the possible presence of SARS-CoV-2 in semen and urine samples of a volunteer with confirmed COVID-19. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A 31-year-old man with fever, myalgia, anosmia, and ageusia was tested and found positive for SARS-CoV-2 through a pharyngeal swab. Eight days after he provided semen and urine samples in which viral RNA presence was measured using a Real time RT PCR system (RealStar SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR, Altona Diagnostics) targeting E and S viral genes. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Semen and urine samples search for SARS-CoV-2 RNA was negative. Although this should be interpreted cautiously, it may be possible that either the viral clearance kinetics in these matrices matches the progressive clinical recovery of the patient or that the virus was never present in these fluids at the time of the laboratory diagnosis.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/analysis , Semen/virology , Specimen Handling/standards , Urinalysis/methods , Adult , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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