Infection by CagA-Positive Helicobacter pylori Strains may Contribute to Alter the Sperm Quality of Men with Fertility Disorders and Increase the Systemic Levels of TNF-α
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This study was aimed to address the possibility that Helicobacter pylori infection may play a detrimental role in semen quality of men with idiopathic infertility. Infection by H. pylori and by strains expressing CagA was determined in 80 male infertile patients by Western blotting and ELISA. Semen analysis was performed by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy quantitatively elaborated (fertility index, immaturity, necrosis, and apoptosis percentages). Systemic levels of IL-6 and TNF-α were evaluated. Infertile patients infected with H. pylori showed a low sperm quality respective to uninfected patients. Particularly, in CagA-positive patients we observed a significant reduction in sperm motility and in the fertility index, while apoptosis and necrosis were increased. In these patients, the means of systemic TNF-α levels were higher than those of uninfected patients. The negative influence of CagA-positive H. pylori infection on sperm quality may help to understand the role of chronic infections in reproductive disorders.
KeywordsH. pylori infection CagA Male idiopathic infertility Spermatozoa TEM TNF-α
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