Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may impair sperm parameters and functions thereby promoting male infertility. To date limited molecular studies were conducted to evaluate the frequency and type of such infections in semen Thus, we aimed at conceiving and validating a multiplex PCR (M-PCR) assay for the simultaneous detection of the following STD pathogens in semen: Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium, Trichomonas vaginalis, Herpes virus simplex (HSV) -1 and -2, and Treponema pallidum; We also investigated the potential usefulness of this M-PCR assay in screening programs for semen pathogens. In addition, we aimed: to detect human Papillomavirus (HPV) and genotypes by single PCR (sPCR) in the same semen samples; to determine the prevalence of the seven STDs, HPV and co-infections; to assess the possibility that these infections affect semen parameters and thus fertility. The overall validation parameters of M-PCR were extremely high including agreement (99.2%), sensitivity (100.00%), specificity (99.70%), positive (96.40%) and negative predictive values (100.00%) and accuracy (99.80%). The prevalence of STDs was very high (55.3%). Furthermore, associations were observed between STDs and changes in semen parameters, highlighting the importance of STD detection in semen. Thus, this M-PCR assay has great potential for application in semen screening programs for pathogens in infertility and STD clinics and in sperm banks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)