Positive bacterial culture of semen from infertile men with asymptomatic leukocytospermia
Ramadan A. Saleh
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Objective - To examine results of semen culture in a population of infertile men with asymptomatic leukocytospermia, and to determine the correlation between culture results and sperm characteristics in these patients. Methods - Semen samples were collected from a group of infertile men (n = 80) after 2-3 days of sexual abstinence. Standard semen analysis was performed according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Seminal leukocyte concentrations were determined by a myeloperoxidase staining technique. Culture of semen was performed on enriched and specific culture media. Results - Based on the results of semen culture, the samples were classified into three groups: group 1 (enteric Gram-negative bacilli [Enterobacteriaceae], n = 13), group 2 (bacteria other than Enterobacteriaceae, n = 15), and group 3 (negative cultures, n = 52). No correlation was found between positive semen culture and sperm characteristics (concentration, motility, and morphology). However, seminal leukocyte concentrations were negatively correlated with percentages of motile sperm and normal sperm morphology. Conclusion - Our data indicate that semen samples from infertile men with asymptomatic leukocytospermia may have bacterial contamination, evidenced by positive bacterial cultures. Lack of correlation between positive semen cultures and sperm characteristics may be indicative of early or mild (subclinical) infection.