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1.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260187, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571986

ABSTRACT

To date, there is limited information about the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in semen especially in the acute phase of the infection. While available data from cohort studies including a total of 342 patients in the acute or recovery phase of the infection are reassuring, one study mentioned detecting virus in the semen of 6/38 COVID-19 patients. Here we assessed SARS-CoV-2 presence in the semen of COVID-19 positive patients in the acute stage of infection, within 24 hours of the positive nasopharyngeal swabs. Semen, seminal plasma and spermatozoa pellet were screened for SARS-CoV-2 and manual or airborne contamination during semen sampling. Among the 32 COVID-19 volunteers, the median interval from the onset of symptoms to semen collection was 4 days [IQR: 0-8]. Only one presented positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR in semen and seminal plasma fractions, although the spermatozoa pellet was negative. Viral cultures were all negative. We observed slightly higher concentrations of bacterial DNA in the SARS-CoV-2 positive specimen than in all negative samples. The bacteria identified neither confirm nor rule out contamination by oropharyngeal secretions during collection. SARS-CoV-2 was rarely present in semen during the acute phase of the disease. This very rare situation could be connected to oral or manual contamination during semen collection. The possible presence of SARS-CoV-2 in semen calls for nasopharyngeal viral testing and strict hygiene protocols during semen collection before assisted reproductive attempts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Semen/chemistry , Spermatozoa/chemistry , Adult , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Semen/virology , Specimen Handling , Spermatozoa/virology
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.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 57(9)2021 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410289

ABSTRACT

Cryopreservation of human gametes and embryos as well as human reproductive tissues has been characterized as an essential process and aspect of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Notably, sperm cryopreservation is a fundamental aspect of cryopreservation in oncological patients or patients undergoing gonadotoxic treatment. Given that there is a risk of contamination or cross-contamination, either theoretical or real, during the procedures of cryopreservation and cryostorage, both the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) have provided updated guidelines for preventing or reducing the contamination risk of sexually transmitted viruses. Given the ongoing and worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, there is considerable interest in what measures should be taken to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 contamination during cryopreservation and cryostorage of semen samples. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is the virus that causes COVID-19, and whose transmission and infection is mainly aerosol-mediated. Several ART professional societies, including ESHRE and ASRM have proposed measures to mitigate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Whether the proposed safety directives are enough to mitigate the possible SARS-CoV-2-contamination of sperm samples during cryopreservation or whether the policies should be re-evaluated will be discussed in this review. Additionally, insights regarding the possible impact of COVID-19 vaccination on the safety of sperm cryopreservation will be discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cryopreservation , SARS-CoV-2 , Semen Preservation , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Reproductive Techniques, Assisted , Risk Factors , Semen/virology , Specimen Handling , Spermatozoa
4.
Andrology ; 9(1): 39-41, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388168

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The recent report of SARS-CoV-2 presence in semen samples of six patients, including two subjects who were recovering from the clinical disease, re-opened the discussion on possible male genital tract infection, virus shedding in semen, sexual transmission and safety of fertility treatments during the pandemic period. OBJECTIVES: To explore current data and hypothesis on the possible sites of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the male reproduction system. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed the current literature to describe: a) the evidences on angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (AC2E) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) expression in the testes, accessory glands (including prostate) and the urinary tract; b) other coronaviruses' (SARS and MERS) ability to infect these sites. RESULTS: The co-expression of both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 genes was reported in spermatogonial stem cells, elongated spermatids, in at least a small percentage of prostate hillock cells and in renal tubular cells. Testicular damage was described in autopsies of SARS patients, without evidence of the virus in the specimens. Prostate is a known infection site for MERS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in urines. DISCUSSION: There are still al lot of open questions on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the male reproductive tract. The presence of receptors is not a proof that the testis provides a site for viral infection and it is still unknown if SARS-CoV-2 is capable to pass the blood-testis barrier. The possibility of a prostate involvement has not been investigated yet: we have no data, but theoretically it cannot be excluded. Moreover, the RNA detected in semen could have been just a residual of urinary shedding. CONCLUSION: Opening our prospective beyond the testis could be the key to better understand the possibility of a semen-related viral transmission as well as COVID19 short and long-term effects on male reproductive function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Semen/virology , Testis/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Male , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Testis/metabolism , Testis/pathology , Virus Internalization , Virus Shedding
5.
J Sex Marital Ther ; 47(7): 731-737, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341041

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Given the important role of sexual activity in most people's lives, in response to the question of whether the coronavirus is transmitted through sexual contact, this study was conducted to investigate the association of coronavirus transition with sexual contact. METHODS: Based on the PRISMA checklist, we review published articles on sexual contact with the Corona virus until 15 February 2021. Electronic databases based on search strategy including PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science was searched to identify relevant papers in English language. RESULTS: Retrieved from 4671, 29 titles and abstracts articles screened, eight were excluded. There were 21 articles in the selection criteria. Of the 21 studies whose full text was read, only 5 studies stated that coronavirus was not transmitted through sexual contact, and 16 articles argued that sexual transmission of the virus could not be ignored. Most studies have confirmed the transmission of the virus through semen, but its transmission through vaginal secretions is unknown. CONCLUSION: Transmission of the virus through semen should be taken seriously in patients and the necessary education should be given to men and their sexual partners. Health care providers need to increase their knowledge and awareness to provide the best practices to reduction the risks related to Covid-19 sexual transmission through counseling and appropriate approaches.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Coitus , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Semen/virology , Sexual Partners , Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral/prevention & control , Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral/virology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Safe Sex , Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral/transmission , Vagina/metabolism , Vagina/virology
6.
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) ; 12: 677701, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268244

ABSTRACT

Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2), a receptor for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to enter host cells, is widely expressed in testes and prostate tissues. The testis and prostate produce semen. At present, there are contradictory reports about whether SARS-CoV-2 can exist in the semen of infected men. Objective: To provide a comprehensive overview of the topic of whether COVID-19 can impact on male reproductive system. Methods: We reviewed the relevant publications on the possible impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on male reproductive system and summarized the latest and most important research results so far. Literature published in English from December 2019 to January 31, 2021 regarding the existence of SARS-CoV-2 in semen, testis, and prostatic fluid and the effects of COVID-19 on male reproductive were included. Results: We identified 28 related studies, only one of which reported the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in semen. The study found that the semen quality of patients with moderate infection was lower than that of patients with mild infection and healthy controls. The impaired semen quality may be related to fever and inflammation. Pathological analysis of the testis/epididymis showed that SARS-CoV-2 viral particles were positive in 10 testicular samples, and the spermatogenic function of the testis was impaired. All 94 expressed prostatic secretion (EPS) samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Conclusion: The likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 in the semen of COVID-19 patients is very small, and semen should rarely be regarded as a carrier of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material. However, COVID-19 may cause testicular spermatogenic dysfunction via immune or inflammatory reactions. Long-term follow-up is needed for COVID-19 male patients and fetuses conceived during the father's infection period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Genitalia, Male/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Genitalia, Male/pathology , Genitalia, Male/physiology , History, 21st Century , Humans , Inflammation/complications , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Male , Prostate/pathology , Prostate/physiology , Prostate/virology , Semen/virology , Semen Analysis , Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological/pathology , Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological/virology , Testis/pathology , Testis/physiology , Testis/virology
7.
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
8.
J Assist Reprod Genet ; 38(4): 785-789, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116946

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can be detected in semen and transmitted sexually is a vital question that has, thus far, been inconclusive. Prior studies, with limited numbers, have included men in various stages of infection with most in the recovery phase of the illness. The timing of test results and severity of illness has made recruiting study participants a significant challenge. Our pilot study will examine semen from men with a recent diagnosis of COVID-19 as well as those in the convalescent phase to determine if SARS-CoV-2 can be detected and its relationship, if any, with the severity of the disease. METHODS: Eighteen men with a median age of 32 (range, 24-57) who tested positive for COVID-19 by rt-PCR analysis were enrolled and provided a semen sample. The study group demonstrated symptoms of COVID-19 ranging from asymptomatic to moderate and none required hospitalization. Samples were subjected to viral RNA extraction and then processed by real-time RT-PCR using the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, USA) panel of 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) primers and probes to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. RESULTS: Length of time from diagnosis to providing a specimen ranged from 1 to 28 days (median, 6 days). Fifteen participants were symptomatic and three were asymptomatic, including recovering men, at the time of semen collection. No SARS-CoV-2 was detected in any of the semen samples. CONCLUSION: Based on these preliminary results and consistent with prior findings, we suggest SARS-CoV-2 is not present in semen during the acute or convalescent phase of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Body Fluids/virology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Semen/virology , Adult , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spermatozoa/virology , Young Adult
9.
Reproduction ; 161(3): 319-331, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112514

ABSTRACT

The existing evidence suggests that the human reproductive system may be potentially vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. However, little is known about the virus-host interaction of COVID-19 in sperm cells. We are the first to address the connection between changes in multiple seminal biomarkers and reproductive function in male patients recovering from COVID-19. In a prospective longitudinal cohort study, seminal ACE2 activity, markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, apoptotic variables, and semen quality parameters were evaluated at 10-day intervals for a maximum follow-up time of 60 days among male patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 (n = 84) and healthy controls (CON; n = 105). At the baseline and the subsequent follow-ups, the COVID-19 group revealed significantly higher levels of seminal plasma ACE2 enzymatic activity, IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TGF-ß, TNF-α, IFN-α, IFN-γ, ROS, caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-3 activity as well as lower levels of SOD activity than those in the CON group (P < 0.05). These perturbations tended to persist over time and were correlated with significant impairments in semen volume, progressive motility, sperm morphology, sperm concentration, and the number of spermatozoa. We provide the direct experimental evidence that the male reproductive system could be targeted and damaged by the COVID-19 infection. These findings go beyond our current understanding of the disease, suggesting that the reproductive function of the patients recovering from the disease should be precisely followed and evaluated to detect and avoid more serious reproductive problems in the future, as they may develop a transient state of male subfertility like those with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Infertility, Male/virology , Semen/virology , Spermatozoa/virology , Adult , Biomarkers/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Fertility/physiology , Humans , Infertility, Male/metabolism , Male , Oxidative Stress/physiology , Prospective Studies , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Semen/metabolism , Semen Analysis , Sperm Count , Sperm Motility/physiology , Spermatozoa/metabolism , Young Adult
10.
Andrologia ; 53(1): e13914, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087946

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic leads to health challenges globally, and its diverse aspects need to be uncovered. Multi-organ injuries have been reported by describing potential SARS-CoV-2 entrance routes: ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Since these cell surface receptors' expression has been disclosed within the male reproductive system, its susceptibility to being infected by SARS-CoV-2 has been summarised through this literature review. Expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 at RNA or protein level has been reported across various investigations indicates that the male genitalia potentially is vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Presence of SARS-CoV-2 within semen samples and following direct viral damage, secondary inflammatory response causing orchitis or testicular discomfort and finally the amount of viral load leading testicular damage and immune response activation are among probable underlying mechanisms. Therefore, genital examination and laboratory tests should be considered to address the male reproductive tract complications and fertility issues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Genitalia, Male/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Genitalia, Male/enzymology , Humans , Infertility, Male/virology , Male , Orchitis/virology , RNA, Messenger/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Semen/virology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Testis/enzymology , Testis/virology
11.
Andrology ; 9(4): 1027-1037, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066607

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The testes are suspected target organs of SARS-CoV-2. However, the results of studies on the effect of COVID-19 on male reproduction are controversial. OBJECTIVE: To summarize current research on the effects of COVID-19 on male reproduction. METHODS: A systematic review of English literature was performed using PubMed and Ovid Embase up to 18 August 2020. Research articles on the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in semen, the effects of the virus on semen parameters and any pathological changes in the testes were evaluated. RESULTS: Fourteen studies were included in this review. Six of 176 survivors (3.4%) and 1 of 13 decedents (7.7%) in 2 of 12 studies were positive for viral RNA in semen and testicular tissue, respectively. After stratification of patient groups, we found that the virus was detected in the relatively early stage of infection, 6-16 days after disease onset, in semen from survivors. Two of 3 studies reported that some participants had substandard semen quality after COVID-19, and 1 study found that COVID-19 may impair semen quality in a severity-related manner. Pathological analyses showed that injuries to the seminiferous tubule occurred in all decedents (N = 11). Another study found that orchitic and testis fibrin microthrombi occurred in patients with fatal disease (100%, N = 2). Scrotal discomfort of orchiepididymitis or spermatic cord inflammation has also been reported in COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSION: Current studies suggest that semen is rarely considered a carrier of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material during the infection period but not in the semen of recovered patients. Fatal COVID-19 may cause testicular structure damage without the presence of virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Reproduction , Semen/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Male , Semen Analysis , Seminiferous Tubules/pathology , Seminiferous Tubules/virology , Testis/pathology , Testis/virology
12.
Stem Cell Res ; 52: 102189, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062597

ABSTRACT

Since the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in December 2019, it has rapidly spread across many countries and it has become a crucial global health concern. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 infection not only effect on respiratory system, but on reproductive system of human. However, there has been not any review described the transmission paths and effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on human reproductive system, systematically. In order to describe the transmission paths of SARS-CoV-2, effect on the male/female reproductive system of SARS-CoV-2 and some successful prevention measures. We would like to review effect of SARS-CoV-2 on reproductive system. To conclude, SARS-CoV-2 infection might damage to male reproductive system via ACE2 receptor mediating and male patients were reportedly slightly more affected than women by SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Genitalia/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Female , Genital Diseases, Female/virology , Genital Diseases, Male/virology , Global Health , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Male , Ovary/virology , Pregnancy , Semen/virology , Sex Factors , Testis/virology , Uterus/virology
13.
Reproduction ; 161(3): 319-331, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1058324

ABSTRACT

The existing evidence suggests that the human reproductive system may be potentially vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. However, little is known about the virus-host interaction of COVID-19 in sperm cells. We are the first to address the connection between changes in multiple seminal biomarkers and reproductive function in male patients recovering from COVID-19. In a prospective longitudinal cohort study, seminal ACE2 activity, markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, apoptotic variables, and semen quality parameters were evaluated at 10-day intervals for a maximum follow-up time of 60 days among male patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 (n = 84) and healthy controls (CON; n = 105). At the baseline and the subsequent follow-ups, the COVID-19 group revealed significantly higher levels of seminal plasma ACE2 enzymatic activity, IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TGF-ß, TNF-α, IFN-α, IFN-γ, ROS, caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-3 activity as well as lower levels of SOD activity than those in the CON group (P < 0.05). These perturbations tended to persist over time and were correlated with significant impairments in semen volume, progressive motility, sperm morphology, sperm concentration, and the number of spermatozoa. We provide the direct experimental evidence that the male reproductive system could be targeted and damaged by the COVID-19 infection. These findings go beyond our current understanding of the disease, suggesting that the reproductive function of the patients recovering from the disease should be precisely followed and evaluated to detect and avoid more serious reproductive problems in the future, as they may develop a transient state of male subfertility like those with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Infertility, Male/virology , Semen/virology , Spermatozoa/virology , Adult , Biomarkers/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Fertility/physiology , Humans , Infertility, Male/metabolism , Male , Oxidative Stress/physiology , Prospective Studies , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Semen/metabolism , Semen Analysis , Sperm Count , Sperm Motility/physiology , Spermatozoa/metabolism , Young Adult
15.
Andrologia ; 53(2): e13912, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947737

ABSTRACT

The study investigated whether there is a male reproductive system coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) phenomenon. Thirty participants who met the inclusion criteria were enrolled in the study between April and May 2020. The participants were assigned in one of the three groups including COVID-19 patients before and after treatment, and controls. Presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within the semen samples was investigated. Additionally, participant's demographics, semen parameters and serum sex hormone levels were compared between the groups. SARS-CoV-2 was not detected within the semen samples. Sperm morphology and serum sex hormone levels were significantly different between the groups. In the post hoc analysis, sperm morphology was significantly lower in the COVID-19 patients. Patients before treatment had significantly lower serum FSH, LH and T levels than controls. However, patients after treatment had similar serum FSH, LH and T levels with controls and patients before treatment. In our opinion, COVID-19 and its treatment had no specific deteriorative effect on male sexual health at a short-time period. In the patients before treatment, decreased serum of T, FSH and LH levels was consistent with acute patient stress due to COVID-19. Similarly, it seems that decreased sperm morphology was associated with the acute fever.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Gonadal Steroid Hormones/blood , Infertility, Male/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Semen/virology , Sexual Health , Adult , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Follicle Stimulating Hormone/blood , Humans , Infertility, Male/virology , Luteinizing Hormone/blood , Male , Pilot Projects , Semen Analysis , Testosterone/blood
16.
Andrology ; 9(1): 99-106, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-910378

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been spreading all over the world since December 2019. However, medical information regarding the urogenital involvement in recovered COVID-19 patients is limited or unknown. OBJECTIVES: To comprehensively evaluate urogenital involvement in recovered COVID-19 patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Men aged between 20 years and 50 years who were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection and recovered when the study was conducted were enrolled in our study. Demographic and clinical characteristics, and history of hospitalization were collected and analyzed. Urine, expressed prostatic secretions (EPSs), and semen samples were collected for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection. Semen quality and hormonal profiles were analyzed. RESULTS: Among 74 male recovered COVID-19 patients, 11 (14.9%) were asymptomatic, classified into mild type, and 31 (41.9%) were classified into moderate type. The remaining patients (32/74, 43.2%) had severe pneumonia. No critically ill recovered COVID-19 patient was recruited in our cohort. The median interval between last positive pharyngeal swab RT-PCR test and semen samples collection was 80 days (IQR, 64-93). The median age was 31 years (IQR, 27-36; range, 21-49), and the median body mass index (BMI) was 24.40 (IQR, 22.55-27.30). Forty-five (61.6%) men were married, and 28 (38.4%) were unmarried. Fifty-three (72.6%) patients denied cigarette smoking, 18 (24.7%) were active smokers, and 2 of them were past smokers. The majority of our participants (53/74, 72.6%) did not consume alcohol. Fever occurred in most of the patients (75.3%), and 63 of them had abnormal chest CT images. Only one patient complained of scrotal discomfort during the course of COVID-19, which was ruled out orchitis by MRI (data not shown). A total of 205 samples were collected for SARS-CoV-2 detection (74 urine samples, 70 semen samples, and 61 EPS samples). However, viral nucleic acid was not detected in body fluids from the urogenital system. In terms of hormonal profiles, the levels of FSH, LH, testosterone, and estradiol were 5.20 [4.23] mIU/mL, 3.95 [1.63] mIU/mL, 3.65 [1.19] ng/mL, and 39.48 [12.51] pg/mL, respectively. And these values were within the normal limits. The overall semen quality of recovered COVID-19 patients was above the lower reference limit released by the WHO. While compared with healthy control, sperm concentration, total sperm count, and total motility were significantly declined. In addition, different clinical types of COVID-19 have no significant difference in semen parameters, but total sperm count showed a descending trend. Interestingly, subjects with a longer recovery time showed worse data for sperm quality. Small sample size and lacking semen parameters before the infection are the major limitations of our study. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, it is the largest cohort study with longest follow-up for urogenital evaluation comprehensively so far. Direct urogenital involvement was not found in the recovered COVID-19 male patients. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was undetectable in the urogenital secretions, and semen quality declined slightly, while hormonal profiles remained normal. Moreover, patients with a long time (≥90 days) since recovery had lower total sperm count. Great attention and further study should be conducted and follow-up on the reproductive function in the following months.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Prostate/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Semen/virology , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/urine , Remission Induction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Semen Analysis , Time Factors , Urine/virology , Young Adult
18.
Rev Int Androl ; 18(3): 117-123, 2020.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-826748

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this revision is to summarize the current existing evidence of the potential adverse effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the male reproductive system and provide the recommendations of the Asociación Española de Andrología, Medicina Sexual y Reproductiva (ASESA) concerning the implications of COVID-19 infection in the management of male infertilty patients and testicular endocrine dysfunction. METHODS: A comprehensive systematic literature search of the databases of PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Medline, Cochrane and MedRxiv, was carried out. RESULTS: The presence of orchitis as a potential complication of the infection by SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been confirmed. One study reported that 19% of males with COVID-19 infection had scrotal symptoms suggestive of viral orchitis which could not be confirmed. It is possible that the virus, rather than infecting the testes directly, may induce a secondary autoimmune response leading to autoimmune orchitis. COVID-19 has been associated with coagulation disorders and thus the orchitis could be the result of segmental vasculitis. Existing data concerning the presence of the virus in semen are contradictory. Only one study reported the presence of RNA in 15.8% of patients with COVID-19. However, the presence of nucleic acid or antigen in semen is not synonyms of viral replication capacity and infectivity. It has been reported an increase in serum levels of LH in males with COVID-19 and a significant reduction in the T/LH and FSH/LH ratios, consistent with subclinical hypogonadism. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of recent reports related to the potential effects of COVID-19 infection on the male reproductive system are based on poorly designed, small sample size studies that provide inconclusive, contradictory results. Since there still exists a theoretical possibility of testicular damage and male infertilty as a result of the infection by COVID-19, males of reproductive age should be evaluated for gonadal function and semen analysis. With regard to the sexual transmission of the virus, there is not sufficient evidence to recommend asymptomatic couples to abstein from having sex in order to protect themselves from being infected by the virus. Additional studies are needed to understand the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 on male reproductive function, including male fertility potential and endocrine testicular function.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Reproductive Health , Sexual Health , Adult , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Follicle Stimulating Hormone/blood , Humans , Hypogonadism/blood , Hypogonadism/etiology , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Leukocytes , Luteinizing Hormone/blood , Male , Orchitis/etiology , Orchitis/virology , Prostate/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Semen/virology , Semen Preservation , Spain , Testis/immunology , Testis/pathology , Testis/virology , Testosterone/blood , Vasculitis/etiology , Young Adult
20.
Urol Int ; 104(9-10): 678-683, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-709600

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The presence of new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in semen and the possibility of sexual transmission have become new subjects of curiosity. There is a discrepancy regarding this issue in the literature. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in semen has been investigated in a limited number of studies, and mostly in recovering patients. We aimed to investigate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in semen of patients with a positive nasopharyngeal swab test for SARS-CoV-2 in the acute stage. METHODS: We enrolled adult male patients who were hospitalized with confirmed SARS-COV-2 infection in the study. In addition to routine laboratory and radiological tests, semen sample was obtained from volunteers and transferred to the Turkish Public Health Institution, National Virology Laboratory. The samples were processed for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on the day of collection. RESULTS: Sixteen patients were included in the study. The median age was 33.5 years (18-54). All but one had respiratory symptoms. None of the patients had a history or symptoms of urogenital disease. All semen samples were obtained during hospitalization and in the acute stage of the infection. The median time to obtain a semen sample after positive nasopharyngeal test was 1 day (0-7). All semen samples were detected as negative for SARS-CoV-2 PCR. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Although all semen samples were obtained in acute stage of the infection when the nasopharyngeal swab test was positive, we did not detect SARS-CoV-2 in semen. The results of our study support the thought that sexual transmission via semen does not have an important role in the person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We think that our study will provide new information to fill the gap in the literature.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Semen/virology , Adolescent , Adult , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Young Adult
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