Chlamydiae: their influence on the quality and morphology of sperm in the ejaculate: their influence on the quality and morphology of sperm

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Abstract

Background

Given the lack of information concerning the role of Chlamydia trachomatis in male fertility, the aim of this study was to ascertain and analyze the quality of Chlamydiae-positive and -negative semen.

Material and methods

Sperm count was performed according to the 1999 World Health Organization (WHO) laboratory manual for examination of human semen and sperm–cervical mucus interaction, and sperm survival was assessed by a 120-min test. The evaluation of the morphological examination of ejaculates was carried out using the SASMO (strict morphological analysis of ejaculates) computer program. Chlamydiae were detected by immunofluorescent reaction using the Progen Biotechnik GmbH diagnostic set. Fisher's exact test and the χ-quadrate test were used for statistical analysis.

Results

Of the total of 627 sperm samples examined, Chlamydiae were detected in 136 cases (21.7%). Sperm analysis showed significant differences between Chlamydiae-positive and -negative samples. The Chlamydiae-contaminated group showed normal sperm morphology 14.4% lower, volume 6.4% lower, concentration 8.3% lower, motility 7.8% and velocity 9.3% lower than in Chlamydiae-negative samples. The average values for normal spermatozoa and motility in the Chlamydiae-positive group were also significantly reduced.

Conclusion

Chlamydia trachomatis was found to be a possible factor in sperm pathology. These results could help to elucidate the role of Chlamydia trachomatis in male infertility.

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