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Volume 51, Number 6, December 2018

Ureaplasma spp. in male infertility and its relationship with semen quality and seminal plasma components 

Yun Heng Zhou, Hong Xia Ma, Xiao Xing Shi, Yang Liu


Background and purpose: 

We investigated the prevalence of Ureaplasma spp. in semen samples of infertile men in Shanghai, China and evaluated the correlation between the sperm parameters (seminal volume, sperm concentration, progressive motility and non-progressive) and the secretary function in these infectious populations. 



Semens were collected from 540 infertile men and 260 fertile control group in shanghai, China and subjected to standard bacterial and Ureaplasma spp. culture. Positive Ureaplasma spp. isolates were further tested by PCR to detect the biovars and serotypes of Ureaplasma spp. Sperm seminological variabilities were analyzed by Computer-Assisted Semen Analysis according to the fifth edition of World Health Organization (WHO) laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen. Seminal markers were measured by the automatic analyzer. 



The prevalence of Ureaplasma spp. in semen specimens was 39.6% (214/540) and 19.2% (50/260) in infertile and control group, respectively. Significant difference was observed between the two groups (P < 0.001). Among all clinical isolates from infertile men (n = 214), 59.3% (n = 127) was Ureaplasma parvum (UPA), 26.2% (n = 56) was Ureaplasma urealyticum (UUR), and 14.5% (n = 31) was mixed species. While those numbers in control group (n = 50) were 64.0% (n = 32), 20.0% (n = 10), 16.0% (n = 8), respectively. There was no significant difference between any two groups (P > 0.05). The progressive motility and the NAG activity of infertile men infected with UPA and mixed species were significantly lower than those of UUR infected subgroup (P < 0.05). 



The infection of Ureaplasma spp. plays an important pathogenic role in male infertility. UPA has higher pathogenicity on the progressive motility and the secretary function of epididymis than UUR.



Key words:

Ureaplasma spp. Infertility Seminological variables Seminal plasma