Citation Hirano Y, Shibahara H, Koriyama J, Tokunaga M, Shimada K, Suzuki M. Incidence of sperm-immobilizing antibodies in infertile women with past Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 65: 127–132
Among the risk factors for antisperm antibody production, inflammatory diseases of the genital tract are believed to play an important role. Chlamydia trachomatis infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. There are some reports suggesting that human sperm have antigens that cross-react immunologically with certain microbial antigens, such as C. trachomatis. However, this is still controversial. We performed a retrospective study to investigate the correlation between anti-chlamydial antibodies and sperm-immobilizing antibodies in infertile women.
Method of study
Between January 2007 and March 2009, the presence of sperm-immobilizing antibodies was examined by the sperm immobilization test using sera from 273 infertile women. Anti-chlamydial antibodies (IgG and IgA) were examined to prove past C. trachomatis infection by ELISA using the same sera from infertile women.
The overall incidence of sperm-immobilizing antibodies was 2.9% (8/273) in infertile women. The incidences of sperm-immobilizing antibodies were 6.4% (5/78) in cases with past C. trachomatis infection and 1.5% (3/195) in cases without past C. trachomatis infection. There was a significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.031).
A significantly higher incidence of sperm-immobilizing antibodies was noted in infertile women with past C. trachomatis infection compared with that of those without past C. trachomatis infection. This is the first demonstration that C. trachomatis infection could play a role in the production of sperm-immobilizing antibodies in infertile women.