Human papillomavirus sperm infection and assisted reproduction: a dangerous hazard with a possible safe solution
Authors: Garolla, Andrea; Lenzi, Andrea; Palù, Giorgio; Pizzol, Damiano; Bertoldo, Alessandro; De Toni, Luca; Foresta, Carlo
Source: Human Reproduction, Volume 27, Number 4, 7 April 2012 , pp. 967-973(7)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has been demonstrated in the sperm of a large percentage of sexually active males and is associated with an impairment of sperm parameters, with a particular negative impact on sperm motility, suggesting a possible role in male infertility. Conventional sperm selection techniques have a low efficiency in removing HPV.
Evaluation of sperm parameters, terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling test to evaluate DNA fragmentation and fluorescence in situ hybridization or immunohistochemistry for HPV were performed on semen samples from infected patients (n= 22), control subjects (n= 13) and on pooled control sperm samples incubated with HPV16-L1 (HPV capsid), before and after direct swim-up and modified swim-up (with added Heparinase-III). Moreover, cytofluorimetry for HPV detection was performed in pooled sperm pre- and post-incubation with HPV 16-L1 before and after direct and modified swim-up. Statistical analysis was performed with a two-tailed Student's t-test.
Direct swim-up reduces the number of HPV-infected sperm by ∼24% (P< 0.01), while modified swim-up is able to remove completely HPV DNA both from naturally and artificially infected sperm. Enzymatic treatment with Heparinase-III tended to decrease sperm motility, viability and DNA integrity but the effects were not significant.
This study shows that Heparinase-III treatment seems not to affect spermatozoa in vitro and suggests that this treatment should be investigated further as a means of preparing sperm from patients who are infected with HPV in order to reduce the risk of HPV infection when using assisted reproduction techniques.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2012-04-07
- Human Reproduction features full-length, peer-reviewed papers reporting original research, clinical case histories, as well as opinions and debates on topical issues. Papers published cover the scientific and medical aspects of reproductive physiology and pathology, endocrinology, andrology, gonad function, gametogenesis, fertilization, embryo development, implantation, pregnancy, genetics, genetic diagnosis, oncology, infectious disease, surgery, contraception, infertility treatment, psychology, ethics and social issues. The highest scientific and editorial standard is maintained throughout the journal along with a rapid rate of publication.