PROBLEM: Today, antisperm antibody (ASA) detection is one of the most important steps in the evaluation of male infertility. This practice is generally accepted even though there is still some disagreement about the meaning of antisperm immunity and a good deal of controversy about the test regarded as the most suitable for the detection of antibodies directed against sperm antigens. International workshops have tried to standardize universally accepted protocols. A panel of three or four methods is generally advised to provide a correct and complete screening of patients with antisperm immunity.
METHOD OF STUDY: This paper reports on the results of a serum exchange workshop for the standardization of the ASA detection in the sera carried out under the auspices of the Italian Society of Endocrinology, which was used as reference laboratory. A careful description of the most widely used methods is reported and proposed as a standard protocol also on the basis of the results of the correlation studies carried out by our group is also reported.
CONCLUSIONS: If the proposed methods and procedures will be accepted by the members of the Alps-Adria Society for Immunology of Reproduction, a Study Group for Sperm Antibody Testing, could start its activity having the goal of reaching a consensus on methodology and carrying out a European serum exchange workshop.