A Solid-Phase Assay for the Detection of Anti-Sperm Antibodies


Department of Urology, Kobe University School of Medicine, 7-5-1, Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Japan 650.


PROBLEM: ELISA is an ideal assay method for a large-scale screening of anti-sperm antibodies among a large number of infertile males. However, conventional ELISA with whole spermatozoa needs time-consuming steps of centrifugation.

METHOD: A solid-phase assay used for detecting anti-sperm antibodies was established. This assay is suitable not only for detecting circulating anti-sperm antibodies of IgG, IgM, and IgA subclass simultaneously but also for screening hybridomas secreting anti-sperm monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The microtiter plates, on which solubilized sperm antigens are fixed, can be stored at − 80°C for up to six months without losing reactivity with anti-sperm antibodies.

RESULTS: Using this assay, 53 sera (13 were proven positive and 40 were proven negative for sperm agglutination antibody) were tested. Although the false-negative rate was 0%, the false-positive rate was 32%. One thousand one hundred sixty-five supernatants from hybridomas constructed with splenocytes of mice who were hyperimmunized with human sperm and nonsecreting myeloma cells were tested by this solid-phase assay and two anti-sperm mAb secreting clones were selected and established.

CONCLUSIONS: It is recommended that for research work this assay could be used for the first screening of the hybridoma secreting anti-sperm mAb, and for clinical use this assay might be suitable for the first screening of sera of infertile patients. However, conventional bioassays should follow to confirm the biological meaning of the positivity.