No evidence of SARS-CoV-2 in semen of males recovering from COVID-19
SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in semen of COVID-19 patients. ACE2-mediated viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 into target host cells is unlikely within the human testicle based on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression.
Feng Pan, M.D., Xingyuan Xiao, M.D., Jingtao Guo, Ph.D., Yarong Song, M.D., Honggang Li, M.D., Darshan P. Patel, M.D., Adam M. Spivak, M.D., Joseph, P. Alukal, M.D., Xiaoping Zhang, M.D., Chengliang Xiong, M.D., Philip S. Li, M.D., James M. Hotaling, M.D., M.S.
To describe detection of SARS-CoV-2 in seminal fluid of patients recovering from COVID-19 and describe the expression profile of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 within the testicle.
Observational, cross-sectional study
Tertiary referral center
Thirty-four adult Chinese males diagnosed with COVID-19 through confirmatory quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) from pharyngeal swab samples
Main Outcome Measures:
Identification of SARS-CoV-2 on qRT-PCR of single ejaculated semen samples. Semen quality was not assessed. Expression patterns of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the human testis are explored through previously published single-cell transcriptome datasets.
Six patients (19%) demonstrated scrotal discomfort concerning for viral orchitis around the time of COVID-19 confirmation. SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in semen after a median of 31 days (IQR: 29-36 days) from COVID-19 diagnosis. Single-cell transcriptome analysis demonstrates sparse expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2, with almost no overlapping gene expression.
SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in the semen of patients recovering from COVID19 one month after COVID-19 diagnosis. ACE2-mediated viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 into target host cells is unlikely to occur within the human testicle based on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression. The long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 on male reproductive function remain unknown.