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Influence of enterococci on human sperm membrane in vitro

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Aim: To study the influence of enterococci on human sperm membrane in vitro. Methods: Ejaculated human sperm were artificially infected with -hemolytic or non--hemolytic enterococci at the bacteria: sperm ratio of 50:1 at 37°C. Sperm membrane integrity was examined after incubation for 1, 3 and 5 h by hypoosmotic swelling (HOS) test and electron microscopy. Results: Sperm infected with -hemolytic enterococci had lower HOS scores compared with non--hemolytic strains or uninfected control (P < 0.01). The HOS test scores of sperm infected with -hemolytic enterococci increased in the presence of phosphatidylcholine, an inhibitor of hemolysin. Non--hemolytic strains showed no significant difference in swelling rate, compared with the control group (P > 0.05). It was shown by electron microscopy that -hemolytic enterococci caused significant rupture of human sperm membrane. Conclusion: -hemolytic enterococci caused human sperm membrane injury, and might be mediated by the hemolysin of enterococci.

Edited by Prof. Hector Chemes

Keywords: enterococci; hypoosmotic swelling test; sperm; sperm membrane; ultrastructure

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathogenic Biology Etiology, School of Medicine, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China 2: Department of Etiology, Histology and Embryology, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350004, China 3: Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350004, China

Publication date: January 1, 2007


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