Some men report testicular pain after contracting COVID-19.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not list testicular pain as uncommon COVID-19 symptomsBut previous studies have found traces of coronavirus in the testicles of men who died of COVID-19. A new study has deepened scientists’ understanding of the ability of viruses to affect various parts of the body.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch found that the coronavirus can infect the male reproductive tract of hamsters. Because hamsters tend to show signs of disease similar to humans, researchers believe their findings may help explain testicular pain reported by some men. These findings may also represent what might happen to men with mild or moderate infections.
the study, Publish In the medical journal Microbiology, the virus was detected in the testes of all infected hamsters within the first week of the examination. The virus was found in testicular samples that had no tissue changes for up to 1 month after infection. Then, it finally disappeared.
The researchers also detected virus replication in hamster testicular cells.
Previous study It has been suggested that the virus may Damage the human reproductive tract, Through the presence of immune cells, reduce the production of testosterone and significantly destroy the testicles at the cellular level.
“Given the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, investigating how this disease affects the testicles and its potential consequences for disease severity, reproductive health and sexual transmission is critical,” Say The main research author, Dr. Rafael Kroon Campos, is a postdoctoral researcher.
However, the researchers said that the underlying mechanism and evidence of virus replication in male testicular cells are currently unavailable.
“These findings are the first step in understanding how COVID-19 affects the male reproductive tract and potential male reproductive health,” said study author, Dr. Shannan Rossi, a professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology. “Before we get the full picture, we still have a lot of work to do. Looking ahead, we will study ways to mitigate this impact, including the use of antiviral drugs, antibody therapies, and vaccines.”
After spending several years studying the effects of Zika virus on the testicles, researchers at the University of Texas were prompted to examine the connection.
At the end of last year, researchers at the University of Miami pointed out that the testicle will be a target of the coronavirus “justified” because it has an affinity for certain types of receptors found in most of the body’s organs, including the heart and lungs. , Intestines, kidneys and testes.
Other viruses can impair sperm production and cause inflammation of the testicles. Miami herald Reported earlier this year. Mumps can cause fertility problems in 10% to 20% of infected men.
Some studies have shown that COVID-19 can reduce sperm count, but scientists have Warned not to invest too much in these discoveries. possible Medications or other conditionsLike obesity, it leads to low sperm counts. They pointed out that infection with any virus, including influenza, will cause a temporary decrease.