Comparison of Spermatozoal DNA Quality and Fragmentation in Covid-19 Survivor with Non-Covid-19 Survivor

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Joice Marlina Budiharto, Supardi Supardi, Maitra Djiang Wen, Tiara Kirana, Maria Paulina Budyandini Dyah Pramesti, Atika Atika, Ria Margiana, William William, Reny I’tishom


Background: SARS-CoV-2 is known to infect the testes and reduce the quality of spermatozoa so that it is at risk of causing male infertility. Data related to the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on sperm parameters from Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, are still very limited, so it is necessary to investigate further which parameters are most affected by COVID-19.
Destination: This study aims to compare the concentration, motility, morphology, and DNA fragmentation of spermatozoa in the COVID-19 survivor group and the non-COVID-19 survivor group in Indonesia.
Method: This research was conducted at two fertility centers in Indonesia, namely BOCAH Indonesia, Primaya Hospital Tangerang, and the Laboratory of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Airlangga University, Surabaya. The research subjects were taken from two groups of volunteers, COVID-19 survivors, and non-COVID-19 survivors. The semen analysis was carried out including for all samples, including concentration, motility, and morphology-based on guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) 2010. Meanwhile, spermatozoa DNA fragmentation was assessed using the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) method.
Results: Thirty-eight patients participated as research subjects, 19 people were divided into groups of COVID-19 survivors and non-COVID-19 survivors respectively. There was a significant difference in terms of concentration (23.45 (1.50-94.00) vs. 72.68 (28.79-149.69); p = 0.002), motility (48.42 ± 18.7286 vs 58 ± 7.203; p = 0.049), normal morphology (3.00 (0-10) vs 6.00 (4-7); p = 0.012, and spermatozoa DNA fragmentation (17.63 (4-34) vs 11.00 (8-15); p < 0.001) between the two groups.
Conclusion: There are differences in concentration, motility, morphology, and DNA fragmentation of spermatozoa between groups of COVID-19 survivors and non-COVID-19 survivors in Indonesia.

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