Contamination by AIDS, hepatitis and syphilis agents in semen and blood samples

Z. H. Marcus, N. Djanashvili, I. Meidan, L. M. Lewin

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Semen analysis is frequently done in many clinical and research laboratories by laboratory technicians who may be unaware of the possibility of bacterial/viral contamination of seminal fluid. As a consequence of inadequate education in safety precautions, laboratory personnel might be exposed to infectious disease. A total of 143 semen and blood samples were obtained from men referred to us by ob/gyn physicians during exploratory investigation of infertility in human couples. Based on sperm counts, volume, motility, morphology, presence of wbc/rbc and sperm agglutination/trembling, it was determined that 43% of patients in this group may face infertility due to male factors. Blood and semen samples were centrifuged and the supernatant fluids tested for hepatitis surface antigen (HB(S)Ag) ETI MAK 2, hepatitis antibody (HB(S)Ab) ETI Ab AUK 2, human immunodeficiency antigen type III (HTLV) ETI HTLV-III K2 Sorin (Biomedica, Saluggia [VC] Italia), Treponema Pallidum IgG (TP Ig-G, Clark Labs ELISA Serology Kit Jamestown, NY, USA), hepatitis O (rDNA) antigen (Ag-C) (Abbott HCV EIA 2nd generation diagnostic kit - Abbott, Germany). Of 143 semen examined 4 were HB(S)Ag, 2 were TP-Ig- G, 1 was AG-C, and 1 was AIDS positive. Perfect correlation was found between the semen results and blood samples from each patient. These data should warn clinicians and laboratory personnel about the danger potential of semen samples. We suggest that clinicians establish absence of communicable disease before sending samples for semen analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-222
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of STD/HIV Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1993


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