Biotech Updates

Chlamydial Infection in Men Causes Apoptosis of Sperm Cells

July 23, 2014

Researchers from the University of Sfax in Tunisia conducted a study to determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasmas, and Ureaplasmas in semen samples from male partners of infertile couples. Another objective of their study was to investigate whether Chlamydia trachomatis could initiate apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in human sperm cells.

A total of 85 male partners of infertile couples underwent routine semen analysis. Specimens were examined for the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis and other sexually transmitted bacteria as well as for the appearance of apoptotic markers such as sperm DNA fragmentation.

The semen of infertile men positive for C. trachomatis showed lower semen count and lower rapid progressive motility of sperm compared to uninfected men. DNA fragmentation was also increased in sperm of infertile men positive for C. trachomatis compared to uninfected men. Thus, C. trachomatis infection could be causing apoptosis of sperm and may explain the effect of C. trachomatis infection on sperm fertilizing ability.

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