Bacteria in genital tract can decrease sperm motility

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Chandigarh, Sep 2 (UNI) Staphylococcus aureus bacteria is a dominant flora in male and female genital tract and can inhabit there without causing infection and without producing any symptoms, according to a study conducted jointly by the Department of Urology of PGIMER, Chandigarh and the Department of Microbiology of Panjab University.

These bacteria can produce a substance, Sperm Immobilization Factor (SIF) which can decrease sperm motility, the researchers found during the course of the study entitled 'Spermatozoal Immobilization Factor from Staphylococcus Aureus: Receptor-specific Interaction'.

A sizeable number of infertile couples have no detectable cause for their infertility and some of them, who can afford, proceed for costly Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART).

Dr S K Singh, Professor of Urology at PGIMER received the best paper award for this research during the 103rd Annual Conference of American Urological Association (AUA) held at Orlando, Florida, USA recently. AUA is one of the most prestigious association of urologists in the world.

The researchers in the study noted that there are receptors on the surface of sperms that lead to interaction with various micro organisms in the genital tract. SIF cause multiple defects in the head, neck and tail region of sperm.

According to Dr Singh, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) studies revealed that the binding took place between receptor and SIF that waives the activity of ligand which is responsible for multiple defects. This study indicates that morphological abnormalities are inducible by exogenous factors and may not always be the result of abnormal sperm production.

The study found that these bacteria in the genital tract may be the cause of infertility in some of the infertile couples without having any obvious defects in them. These bacteria can be eradicated from the genital tract by antibacterial measures or strategies may be targeted to neutralize the effect of sperm immobilization factor excreted exogenously by these bacteria.

On the other hand, SIF or a monoclonal antibody if developed against the receptors on the sperm may be used as a vaginal contraception, the researchers found while calling for further research on this subject.

The research work was carried out by a research fellow, Navchetan Kaur, under the supervision of Dr Vijay Prabha, Reader from Panjab University and Dr Singh.

Refering to the study Dr Singh noted that imbalance and disparity remains in almost all aspects of the society. Some are blessed with many offsprings adding to the crowded population and some remain deprived even of a single child.

"Infertility results either due to defects in female or male or in both", Dr Singh said and added that infection in the genital tract was one of the causes of infertility.

Bacteria can produce a substance (SIF) which may incapacitate the sperm and prevent its movement to reach the oocyte (egg) in female genital tract for fertilization, he added.

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