The Molecular Prevalence of Varicella-Zoster Virus and Human Herpesvirus Types 6 and 7 in Sperm Samples of Infertile Men
Background and Aims: Human herpes virus types 6 and 7 (HHV-6, HHV-7) can remain latent in the urogenital tract epithelial cells. Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV) is among the Alphaherpesviruses infecting most people during childhood. This virus can remain latent in the ganglionic neurons. The latent infection can reactivate through weakness, suppression of the immune system, and aging. Therefore, this study investigated the molecular prevalence of HHV-6, HHV-7, and Varicella-Zoster virus in sperm samples from infertile men.
Materials and Methods: Sperm samples from 82 infertile patients were collected from infertility centers in Tehran. Chromatin health levels and sperm DNA examinations were carried out using sperm DNA fragmentation index kits. Viral nucleic acids were extracted from the samples. The presence of VZV, HHV-6, and HHV-7 genomes was examined through the conventional polymerase chain reaction assay.
Results: The average age was 37.3 ± 6.1 years. The mean sperm motility percentage was 33.6 ± 2%. Infertile men's mean DNA fragmentation index was 27.2 ± 1.2. This study shows a 7.3% and 4.9% prevalence for HHV-6 and VZV, respectively, and the absence of HHV-7 in sperm specimens.
Conclusion: Although the infection rates of these herpesviruses seem relatively low, more comprehensive and multi-center studies are required to obtain more accurate results.