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Review Article
2 (
Suppl_1
); 77-84
doi:
10.25259/JRHM_59_2020
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Possible effects of coronavirus disease 2019 on male reproduction

Molecular Reproduction Unit, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Corresponding author: Susha S. Kutteyil, Molecular Reproduction Unit, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. susha587@gmail.com
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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.
How to cite this article: Kutteyil SS, Kumar PG. Possible effects of coronavirus disease 2019 on male reproduction. J Reprod Healthc Med 2021;2(Suppl_1):S77-S84.

Abstract

The pandemic of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has resulted in a worldwide health emergency situation within few months since its emergence at the end of 2019. SARS-CoV-2 targets the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on the lung alveolar epithelia, causing acute respiratory distress, which is the major manifestation of COVID-19. Various emerging reports indicate that in addition to the lungs the virus impacts other ACE2 expressing-organs including the heart, kidney, liver, and testis causing varying levels of damage to these organs. Due to discrepancies between different reports, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the reproductive tract and semen has not been confirmed in COVID-19 affected men. However, COVID-19 related complications such as testicular inflammation, lower sperm count in the semen, and altered levels of testosterone and luteinizing hormone are evident in male patients. These complications are positively correlated with the severity of the disease and consequently, drastic testicular impairments involving germ cells and somatic cells are observed in deceased males due to COVID-19. Hence, further studies are warranted to apprehend the long-term effects of COVID-19 on reproduction and to manage fertility issues in male patients.

Keywords

Coronavirus disease 2019
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2
angiotensin-converting enzyme 2
Male reproduction
Semen

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