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Volume 24, Issue 1 (January 2022) 24, 56–61; 10.4103/aja.aja_54_21

Chlamydia trachomatis infection in the genital tract is associated with inflammation and hypospermia in the infertile male of China

Hua Zhou1,2, Shunhong Wu3, Xiaohua Tang4, Guanqing Zhou1,2, Jingru Yuan1,2, Qing Li1,2, Yaoyong Chen1,2, Xia Xu3, Xiaofang Sun1,2, Detu Zhu1,2, Yumei Luo1,2

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Key Laboratory for Major Obstetric Diseases of Guangdong Province, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, China
2 Key Laboratory of Reproduction and Genetics of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, China
3 Kingmed School of Laboratory Medicine, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510182, China
4 Department of Clinical Laboratory, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510150, China

Correspondence: Dr. Y Luo (mei.2002@163.com) or Dr. D Zhu (clover_jato@163.com)

Date of Submission 08-Nov-2020 Date of Acceptance 06-Apr-2021 Date of Web Publication 18-Jun-2021


Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection is the most prevalent sexually transmitted bacterial disease worldwide. However, unlike that in female infertility, the role of CT infection in male infertility remains controversial. The objective of this retrospective study was to explore the impacts of CT infection in the genital tract on sperm quality, sperm acrosin activity, antisperm antibody levels, and inflammation in a large cohort of infertile males in China. A total of 7154 semen samples were collected from infertile male subjects, 416 of whom were CT positive (CT+ group) and 6738 of whom were CT negative (CT− group), in our hospital between January 2016 and December 2018. Routine semen parameters (semen volume, pH, sperm concentration, viability, motility, morphology, etc.), granulocyte elastase levels, antisperm antibody levels, and sperm acrosin activity were compared between the CT+ and CT− groups. Our results showed that CT infection was significantly correlated with an abnormally low semen volume, as well as an increased white blood cell count and granulocyte elastase level (all P < 0.05) in the semen of infertile males; other routine semen parameters were not negatively impacted. The antisperm antibody level and sperm acrosin activity were not affected by CT infection. These findings suggested that CT infection might contribute to inflammation and hypospermia but does not impair sperm viability, motility morphology, and acrosin activity or generate antisperm antibodies in the infertile males of China.

Keywords: Chlamydia trachomatis; genital tract obstruction; hypospermia; male infertility; semen parameters; sperm quality

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