A Study of Anti-Sperm Antibodies among Infertile Subjects Investigated for Infertility in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Anti-sperm antibodies (ASA) can interfere with sperm functions and fertility and may be found in the blood, lymph or local secretions such as seminal and cervico-vaginal fluids in both men and women.
Objective: to evaluate the contribution of ASA to infertility in male and female subjects investigated for infertility and to correlate their presence with seminal fluid viscosity.
Materials and methods: Two hundred and two infertile subjects: males (n=110) and females (n=92) irrespective of the etiologies were consecutively evaluated for ASA in serum, seminal plasma and vaginal fluid extract using ELISA technique (Bioserv Diagnostics, Rostock, Germany). The immunoglobulin isotypes and Seminal fluid viscosity were also determined.
Results: Out of the 202 infertile subjects, 57(28.2%) were positive for ASA while 145(71.8%) were negative. Twenty five (22.7%) of the 110 male subjects were ASA positive while 32(34.8%) of the 92 female subjects were ASA positive. The overall prevalence in males and females was 22.7% and 34.8% respectively. No significant difference (X2=0.86: p=0.36) was observed in the prevalence of ASA between males and females. Seminal fluid viscosity was inversely (p<0.05) co-related with ASA as ASA was present in most subjects with normal sperm viscosity.
Conclusion: ASA are common among infertile subjects in these centres and three immunoglobulin isotypes were involved. ASA did not affect sperm viscosity from this study.