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1.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 783963, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627748

ABSTRACT

Emerging viral infections continuously pose a threat to human wellbeing. Several RNA viruses have managed to establish access to the male reproductive tract and persist in human semen. The sexual transmission of the virus is of critical public concern. The epidemiological inferences are essential to understand its complexity, particularly the probability of viral transmission from asymptomatic patients or those in the incubation period or from the patient who was previously infected and now fully recovered. From the clinical perspective, negative impacts in the male reproductive tract associated with RNA virus infection have been described, including orchitis, epididymitis, impaired spermatogenesis, and a decrease in sperm quality, which can affect male fertility at different time intervals. The disruption of anatomical barriers due to inflammatory responses might enable the viral invasion into the testis, and the immune privilege status of testes might facilitate a sustained persistence of the virus in the semen. In this review, the current knowledge about other RNA viruses that affect male reproductive health provides the framework to discuss the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The molecular mechanisms, sexual transmission, and viral impacts for mumps, HIV, Zika, and Ebola viruses are explored. We discuss the currently available information on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 and its sequelae in the male reproductive tract, particularly regarding presence in semen, its impact on sexual organs, and sperm quality. To date, no sexual transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been reported, whereas the identification of viral particles in semen remains conflicting. In the purview of the earlier conducted analyses, it is essential to investigate further the long-term health impacts of SARS-CoV-2 on the male reproductive tract.

2.
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
3.
Reprod Health ; 18(1): 123, 2021 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266495

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Viral detection in seminal fluid indicates their potential for both sexual transmission and impairment of reproductive health. Review of the mechanistic entry, sexual transmission and viral impacts for patients during major recent viral outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV), Ebola virus (EBOV), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (CoV), and SARS-coronavirus 2 (CoV-2) (the virus which causes COVID-19) provides a framework to discuss this potential. AIM: Comparative analysis of prior viral presence on seminal fluid against current (preliminary) findings for SARS-CoV-2 to predict biological implications of the novel coronavirus upon current sexual transmissibility, viral presence, and reproductive health. METHODOLOGY AND FINDINGS: Literature review was conducted using PubMed and Google Scholar databases. ZIKV and EBOV were found to be present in semen and to be sexually transmitted, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to update their guidelines on prevention of the two viruses to include refraining from sexual contact. There are conflicting studies regarding the presence of SARS-CoV in male reproductive tissue, but it has been linked to testicular atrophy and orchitis. To date, two studies have detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in semen, while seven studies have reported no positive detection. CONCLUSIONS: Though unlikely in the majority of cases, SARS-CoV-2 can potentially be present in seminal fluid, although there are no reports of sexual transmission to date. Prior epidemics raise significant concerns regarding the long-term reproductive health capacity for patients who are affected by entry of Sars-CoV-2 into the reproductive tract, therefore more study is needed to clarify the impacts to reproductive health.


This review describes the detection of viruses in seminal fluid and their sexual transmission, focusing on the major viral outbreaks of Zika virus (ZIKV), Ebola virus (EBOV), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (CoV), and SARS-coronavirus 2 (CoV-2). ZIKV and EBOV were found to be present in semen and to be sexually transmitted, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to update their guidelines on prevention of the two viruses to include refraining from sexual contact. There are conflicting studies regarding the presence of SARS-CoV in male reproductive tissue, but it has been linked to testicular atrophy and orchitis. To date, two studies have detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in semen, while seven studies have reported no positive detection. More studies must be completed to accurately determine its risk of sexual transmission to ensure mitigation of further transmission and understand the long-term implications of SARS-CoV-2 on the reproductive health of recovered patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Infertility, Male , Reproductive Health , Semen/virology , Zika Virus , Epidemics , Humans , Male , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Int J Surg ; 84: 156-158, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922002
5.
Andrology ; 9(1): 23-26, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-377963

ABSTRACT

Great concerns have been raised on SARS-CoV-2 impact on men's andrological well-being, and one of the critically unanswered questions is whether it is present or not in the seminal fluid of infected subjects. The expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the testis and in the male genital tract allows speculations about a possible testicular involvement during the infection, possibly mediated by local and/or systemic inflammation that might allow a high viral load to overcome the hemato-testicular barrier. To date, few investigations have been carried out to ascertain the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the seminal fluid with contrasting results. Furthermore, the cumulative number of subjects is far too low to answer the question unambiguously. Therefore, great caution is still needed when evaluating this data; otherwise, we risk unleashing unmotivated concerns in the scientific world with troublesome consequences in reproductive medicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Semen/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Evidence-Based Medicine , Humans , Male , Predictive Value of Tests , Semen Analysis
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