An international team of researchers from the United States and China has not detected the Coronavirus in the semen of men who have had mild to moderate infection.
Many new viral pathogens, such as Ebola and Zika virus, are known to be transmitted through sperm. The COVID-19 virus is not transmitted in this way according to researchers from the University of Utah.
Scientists collected sperm samples from 34 men in Wuhan with mild to moderate disease one month after diagnosis. Laboratory tests did not reveal SARS-CoV-2 in any of them.
In addition, using genetic modelling, the authors determined that the virus is unlikely to infect testicular cells due to the lack of necessary receptors in them.
“The fact that this small preliminary study shows that the virus that causes COVID-19 is not found in the testes or sperm can be an important discovery,” said James Hotaling, MD, one of the study’s authors.
“If a disease like COVID-19 were sexually transmitted, it would have serious consequences for its prevention and long-term human reproductive health.”
The authors acknowledge that their study has several important limitations, including the small sample size and the fact that none of the donors were seriously ill with COVID-19.
“It may happen that a person who is in critical condition with COVID-19 will have a higher viral load, which may lead to a greater likelihood of semen infection. We do not have an answer to this question now,” Hotaling said.
“But the knowledge that we have not found such activity among patients who are recovering from mild to moderate forms of the disease is encouraging.”
However, the scientist warns that close contact can still increase the risk of spreading the disease through coughing, sneezing and kissing.
It was previously reported that authorities in New York issued instructions for safer sex during the coronavirus pandemic.
It stated, in particular, that masturbation, refusal from rimming and kisses will help to avoid infection.
Last Updated on Apr 28, 2020