Immunology: Chlamydial immunoglobulin IgG and IgA antibodies in serum and semen are not associated with the presence of Chlamydia trachomatis DNA or rRNA in semen from male partners of infertile couples
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The role of Chlamydia (C.) trachomatis in male infertility is controversial. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic C. trachomatis infections in male partners of infertile couples, and to compare this result with the presence of chlamydial antibodies in serum and semen. C.trachomatis was detected in five of 50 semen specimens (10%) by either polymerase chain reaction for C. trachomatis DNA or direct DNA probing for C. trachomatis rRNA. There was no association between the detection of C. trachomatis in semen and the presence of chlamydial antibodies in serum or semen. Chlamydial serum antibodies were neither associated with antiserum serum antibodies nor with pathological standard semen parameters. These results indicate that the assessment of chlamydial immunoglobulin IgG and IgA antibodies in serum or semen is of limited use in male infertility work-up, in contrast to its significance in female tubal infertility. The presence of C. trachomatis in semen emphasizes the potential risk of transmission during artificial insemination and other assisted reproductive techniques, and underlines the importance of sensitive direct detection methods in this group of patients.
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