PROBLEM: The detection of various types of antisperm antibodies (ASA) in the serum varies among different assays. This variation may influence the diagnosis and management of infertile couples who are tested for such immunologic factors. This prospective study was conducted to determine the variation in the results of ASA as measured by the sperm immobilization (SI), sperm agglutination (SA), and the indirect immunobead (IB) assays.
METHOD: The sera of 79 patients that tested positive for ASA by at least one of the assays listed above were concurrently tested with all three assays.
RESULTS: Using an individual ASA assay, 66 (84%), 26 (33%) or 36 (46%) of sera tested positive by the SA, SI, or IB assays, respectively. However, using a combination of assays, 67 (85%), 78 (99%) or 40 (51%) of sera tested positive using either the SA+SI, SA+IB or SI+IB assays, respectively.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the utilization of different assays to detect ASA may detect sera that are positive for ASA with more reliability than single assay testing.