Daily Management Review

Study Shows Covid-19 Could Lower Sperm Count, Motility


Study Shows Covid-19 Could Lower Sperm Count, Motility
A study has found that people infected with Covid-19 could experience low sperm count and motility for months after getting cured.
The researchers of the study discovered that the semen itself was not contagious. However, sperm motility was reduced in 60% of the 35 men who supplied samples within a month after recovering from symptomatic infection, and sperm counts were lowered in 37%. Semen samples were collected from 120 Belgian men, who had an average age of 35 years, 52 days after their Covid-19 symptoms had gone, according to a study published on Monday in Fertility and Sterility.
Between one and two months following recovery, 37 per cent of 51 males examined had impaired sperm motility, while 29 per cent had poor sperm counts.
Sperm motility was decreased in 28 per cent % of 34 men who gave semen samples at least two months after recuperation, and sperm counts were poor in 6 per cent. Covid-19 infection severity was not associated to sperm attributes.
"Couples with a desire for pregnancy should be warned that sperm quality after COVID-19 infection can be suboptimal," the researchers concluded. "The estimated recovery time is 3 months, but further follow-up studies are under way to confirm this and to determine if permanent damage occurred in a minority of men."
Another recent study from the United Kingdom has claimed that Covid-19 infections caused by the Omicron variant do not necessarily cause less severe illness compared to previous variants such as the Delta variant.
Imperial College London researchers compared 11,329 people who had confirmed or suspected Omicron infections to almost 200,000 people who were infected with other variations.
The researchers have so far found "no evidence of Omicron having lower severity than Delta, judged by either the proportion of people testing positive who report symptoms, or by the proportion of cases seeking hospital care after infection."
The efficacy of vaccines available in the UK against symptomatic Omicron illness ranged from 0 per cent to 20 per cent following administration of two doses, and from 55 percent to 80% after a booster dose.
After accounting for personal risk variables, the probabilities of re - infection with Omicron are 5.4 fold higher than those of Delta, according to the findings. According to the researchers, a previous SARS-CoV-2 illness provided 85 per cent immunity against a second infection over 6 months in a trial of pre-Omicron healthcare workers, whereas "the protection against reinfection by Omicron offered by past infection may be as low as 19 per cent."
Another recent study found that it could be less costly to make an experimental molecule that fights against the coronavirus in the same manner that antibodies do.
The molecule is an aptamer, which is a type of chemical. Aptamers are simpler to produce compared to protein-based antibodies since they are created from RNA or DNA, which can only be made in live cells, according to Julian Valero of Aarhus University in Denmark. 
Aptamers bind to protein targets - in the case of Covid-19 vaccines, the spike protein on the virus surface - by folding into a three-dimensional shape, similar to antibodies. The aptamer attaches strongly to the coronavirus spike in test tube studies, preventing it from breaking into human cells, according to a study published in PNAS. The virus's earlier forms, including Delta, are inhibited, according to the researchers. They intend to do testing to discover if it identifies and binds to Omicron as well.
The aptamer's use in people is still a long way off, with experiments in mice just just beginning. According to Jorgen Kjemsa, who is also associated with Aarhus University, "we're considerably closer" to being able to utilise the aptamer to help diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans. Experiments comparing the use of the aptamer to antibodies in commonly used quick COVID-19 infection tests are under underway, he said.