Research studies Zika infection may affect male fertility
Published: 2016-11-01 16:04:23.0 BdST Updated: 2016-11-01 16:04:52.0 BdST
Zika virus infection can break down and severely damage animals' testes and affect reproductive health of males, new research suggests.
Although the Zika virus is largely transmitted to people via mosquito bites, the virus can also be sexually transmitted from person to person and through blood transfusion.
Although it can be found in the semen of infected men, the impact of Zika on the human male reproductive system is largely unknown.
To investigate further, the scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis infected male mice with a mouse-adapted African or Asian Zika virus strain, or with the related dengue virus.
Every seven days, the researchers stained and visually examined samples of mouse testes to look for damage and tested cells from those organs for evidence of the virus.
Although the closely related dengue virus did not appear to infect the testes of mice, the researchers found that cells in the testes showed signs of Zika infection by day seven.
After 14 days, the testes visibly shrank in size. As Zika infection progressed, the seminiferous tubules where sperm is formed began to break down.
Additionally, the researchers found that inflammatory cells mounted a response, which added to the damage caused by the virus. After 21 days, the testes of mice infected by the African strain of Zika had shrunk substantially.
By 42 days after infection, damage from the virus had cut the test animals' average motile sperm count by roughly three-fold, with some mice showing very low sperm counts.
Furthermore, their levels of testosterone and inhibin b, hormones vital to regulating sperm production and testes function, also fell, showed the study published online in the journal Nature.
Low sperm and hormone levels were associated with decreased fertility rates.
The scientists call the results "concerning", although it remains unclear what these findings in mice may mean for humans.
Longitudinal studies of sperm function and viability in men who have experienced Zika infection are needed, the researchers concluded.
Any unauthorised use or reproduction of bdnews24.com content for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement liable to legal action.
- Brain damage in former football players fuels ‘heading’ fears
- Non-transparent R&D investment makes drug costlier, Prof Sakiko Fukuda-Parr says in Dhaka
- Bangladesh performs 25th bone marrow transplant in the first-ever centre
- Recreational drug may accelerate ageing of heart
- Academics call time on $100,000 cancer drugs
- New book on stress management launched in Ekushey Book Fair
- Study of cancer-causing toxins finds e-cigs much safer than smoking
- Over 9.2 million sign for Obamacare amid Trump repeal push
- Concern over kidney transplantation in Bangladesh; doctors’ call to introduce cadaver donation
- Alternative medicine might help treat premature ejaculation
- Minister Quader was 'just angry', says MP Sanowar claiming reports of being assaulted not true
- Trump administration to expand groups of immigrants to be deported: Documents
- Director Farooki's "Doob: No Bed of Roses" stalled
- PM Hasina stops over at Abu Dhabi on way home from Munich
- Bangladesh court to deliver verdict in Japanese national Kunio Hoshi murder on Feb 28
- New US travel ban to spare green card holders: Trump official
- Humayun Ahmed's portrayal in Farooki's 'Doob' is objectionable, says Shaon
- Island chosen to relocate Rohingya refugees not fit for habitation, says Bangladesh forest department
- Man dies in ‘gunfight’ with RAB in Rajshahi
- Graphic novel 'Mujib' part-3 to be released Sunday