Andrology

Anti-sperm antibodies

ANTISPERM ANTIBODIES

Sperm has the ability to cause the immune response in males and females. The result of this reaction is that the immune system could generate antibodies to attach to the surface of the sperm. Sperm carrying a high load of antibodies might have a low chance to fertile an oocyte, causing infertility . This type of infertility is termed “immunologic infertility”

THE FORMATION OF ANTISPERM ANTIBODIES

A man can produce antisperm antibodies when his sperm contact with his immune system. This can happen when the testicales are injuried or after surgery such as biopsy or vasectomy (thus, testicular sperm retrieval bear a risk of causing antisperm antibodies). A prostate gland infection could also cause antisperm antibodies. About 4.6 – 5.7% of infertile couple are affected by antisperm antibodies.

A women can have allergic reaction to her partner’s semen and causing antisperm antibodies. This kind of immune response is not fully understood.

MECHANISM UNDERLYING IMMUNOLOGIC INFERTILITY

Antisperm antibodies could cause sperm agglutination, lower sperm mobility. Thus make it harder for sperm to infiltrate through cervical mucus. In the uterine, sperm antibodies attached to sperm could lead to complement cascade, which might fastly destroy sperms. Even when the sperm could reach the oocyte, the antibodies attached to the head of sperm could block the acrosome reaction, which blocks the fertilization.

WHO MIGHT DEVELOP ANTISPERM ANTIBODIES?

In males

- Chronic vasectomy

- Inflammation of the vas deferens

- Varicocele

- Ectopic testicles

- Testicular cancer

- Homo relation

- Idiopathic infertility

In females

- Partner(s) has Antisperm antibodies

ANTIPSERM ANTIBODIES TESTING AT GENTIS

- ASA testing at Gentis using indrect method

  • Sample: 2ml blood
  • If not centrifuged: transfer to the laboratory for 4 hours (temperature 20-25 degrees Celsius); Centrifuge after the blood is completely coagulated; Store at 2 – 8 degrees Celsius for 7 days or 12 months at -20 degrees Celsius
  • Principle: Quantify the concentration of ASA in the solution. The threshold of 0 - 60IU/ml is the concentration of ASA in normal people. (if the result is 55-60IU/ml) then repeat after 2 weeks.

WHY THE TEST IS DONE

  • Reveal the cause of infertility
  • First step in reproductive health check

WHAT TO DO AFTER THE TEST

- Using immune suppessive therapy

- Sperm processing prior to ART


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