• Autosperm antibodies;
  • ELISA;
  • anti-sperm secretory IgA;
  • monoclonal antibodies

ABSTRACT: The role of anti-sperm secretory IgA has recently received attention since some workers feel it plays an important role in the prognosis of the immunologically infertile couple. Current methods used in our laboratory cannot separately detect anti-sperm secretory IgA. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) utilizing specific monoclonal antibodies to secretory IgA was used to detect anti-sperm secretory IgA as well as anti-sperm monomeric IgA and IgG in serum and seminal plasma of a sperm-antibody-positive (ASA+) and sperm-antibody-negative (ASA-) group of men. Results showed significantly raised serum levels in the ASA+ group when compared to the ASA-group for anti-sperm secretory IgA (P < .001), anti-sperm monomeric IgA (P < .001), and anti-sperm IgG (P < .01). Seminal plasma levels were also raised in the ASA + group, but only significantly so for monomeric IgA (P < .02). The performed ELISA has definite potential in research, especially with the use of monoclonal antibodies for the detection of anti-sperm secretory IgA, but cannot as yet be used as a prognostic predictor of fertility in the individual antibody-positive patient. Infertility specific antigens will have to be identified and isolated and subsequently used in the ELISA.