Can Seminal IL-8 Level Be Used as a Marker of Leukocytospermia and Does It Have Any Correlation with Semen Parameters in Infertile Couples?

  • Pikee SaxenaEmail author
  • Raksha Soni
  • V. S. Randhawa
  • Nain Singh
Original Article



Infection of male genital tract leads to leukocytospermia which may have a detrimental effect on semen quality. This study was conducted to evaluate whether seminal IL-8 level can be used as a marker of leukocytospermia and does it have any correlation with semen parameters in infertile couples?


This cross-sectional study was conducted in an infertility clinic of a tertiary care hospital including 150 male partners of infertile couples who underwent semen analysis (WHO laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen, 5th edn, World Health Organization, Geneva, p 271, 2010), semen culture sensitivity and seminal IL-8 levels. Independent t-test, Mann–Whitney U test and Chi-square test were applied for analysis.


Mean seminal plasma IL-8 level of patients with leukocytospermia was significantly higher than patients without leukocytospermia (1143.67 ± 887.03 vs. 267.174 ± 242.29, p value < 0.001). Strong positive correlation was found between seminal plasma IL-8 levels and pus cells in the semen (r = 0.950, p < 0.001); AUC for seminal plasma IL-8 was 0.985 (CI 0.972–0.988), and a cutoff value of 399 pg/ml was determined to diagnose leukocytospermia. This value had high sensitivity (91.8%), specificity (94.5%), positive predictive value (94.4%) and diagnostic accuracy (93.2%) for detecting leukocytospermia. Seminal IL-8 levels correlated negatively with sperm motility (r = − 0.29, p < 0.001) and morphology (r = − 0.230, p < 0.01).


Seminal plasma IL-8 levels were found to be almost five times higher in male partners with leukocytospermia than in non-leukocytospermia group, and it appears to be a promising tool to detect leukocytospermia. Seminal IL-8 level correlated negatively with semen parameters including sperm motility and morphology.


Seminal plasma IL-8 Leukocytospermia Infertility Semen parameters 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors have no financial conflict of interest to declare in the findings of this study.

Ethical statements

This study was initiated after approval from the Ethics Committee of Human Research of the Institute. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Federation of Obstetric & Gynecological Societies of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pikee Saxena
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raksha Soni
    • 1
  • V. S. Randhawa
    • 2
  • Nain Singh
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyLady Hardinge Medical College and SSKHNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyLady Hardinge Medical College and SSKHNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryLady Hardinge Medical College and SSKHNew DelhiIndia

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