Researchers have developed an immediate and accurate screening method to test for male infertility.
For approximately one in three infertile couples, it is the male who is infertile, most often as a result of inadequate sperm production, sperm function, or sperm delivery. Illnesses, injuries, and chronic health problems can play a role in causing male infertility.
Diagnosing male infertility, however, is a challenging task because of its difficulty in assessing sperm quantity and motility through the analysis of semen samples. In most cases, several collections are made from month to month in order to get accurate results from male infertility tests.
In a new paper published in Scientific Reports by Nature, a group of researchers led by the Center for Reproductive Biology, Washington State University, developed a new test for male infertility that could give an immediate result. The researchers collected and analyzed semen and blood samples from twenty-one patients at the Andrology Laboratory of Hospital, Spain.
Using advanced molecular analysis techniques, the research team could reliably identify biomarkers in the methyl groups attached to the sperm DNA. This helps to determine who would be responsive to hormone therapy treatment, which can improve sperm numbers and motility in a sub-population of infertility patients.
Identifying the biomarkers of infertility would be useful in diagnosing and managing of male infertility patients. Further clinical trials are required to help validate and apply this novel technology to the treatment of male infertility.
Written by Man-tik Choy, Ph.D
Reference: Luján, S., Caroppo, E., Niederberger, C. et al. Sperm DNA Methylation Epimutation Biomarkers for Male Infertility and FSH Therapeutic Responsiveness. Sci Rep 9, 16786 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41598-019-52903-1.