Moderate to Severe COVID-19 Infections May Reduce Fertility in Men – Study PixabayTech19:29 GMT 07.10.2020Get short URLby Evan Craighead 757Subscribehttps://cdn1.img.sputniknews.com/img/07e4/0a/07/1080700117_0:90:1920:1170_1200x675_80_0_0_050a89e29f85d22261a4f82838d87ed9.jpgSputnik Internationalhttps://cdn2.img.sputniknews.com/i/logo.pngEvan Craighead . Sputnik Internationalhttps://sputniknews.com/science/202010071080700156-moderate-to-severe-covid-19-infections-may-reduce-fertility-in-men—study-/
Israeli researchers have found that some men infected with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus may experience reduced fertility.
A new study led by Dr. Dan Aderka, head of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Service at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, detected the virus in the sperm of some 13% of screened male COVID-19 patients. Researchers also detected a 50% decline in sperm volume, concentration and motility in patients with moderate cases of the disease – even 30 days following their initial diagnosis.
Testicular cells also support sperm development.
Aderka detailed that COVID-19 specifically binds to the ACE2 receptors and destroys the Sertoli and Leydig cells, which support sperm maturation and produce testosterone, respectively.
“It could be even more detrimental.”
The full study is slated to be published in the international journal Fertility and Sterility.
Due to the virus appearing relatively recently, it remains unknown whether the reduction in fertility is reversible or permanent.
“Interestingly, an enzyme called TMPRSS2 assists the virus in binding to the ACE receptor, facilitating its internalization into the cells,” noted Aderka, suggesting that TMPRSS2 – which is activated by testosterone – could be the focus of further research.
The Israeli doctor’s research also backed study findings by Chinese scholars Weiguo Zhao and Shixi Zhang, who reported that “SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may still be detected in the semen of recovering patients.”