The sexual Transmission of COVID-19 is that possible?
In the time of the corona crisis, we try to be as effective as possible to prevent a spread of COVID-19. It is important to know the different routes of Transmission to protect themselves and other people from a disease. Since the question of whether COVID-19 can also be transmitted sexually, of course. An international study came to the conclusion that a proliferation of COVID-19 by sperm is unlikely.
In the current investigation of the University of Utah, it was found that COVID-19 does not appear to be transmitted by sperm. The results of the study were published in the English journal “Fertility & Sterility“ published.
No information on COVID-19 in sperm or testes
In the international study of Chinese men who were suffering from COVID-19, were found no hints in the semen or in the testes, the COVID-19-causing Virus. This makes it very unlikely that COVID-19 is spread through semen.
Sexual Transmission can not be completely excluded
The study, however, was not comprehensive enough to provide the possibility of a sexual Transmission of the disease, to fully exclude, report the researchers. The fact that in this small, preliminary study appears to be the Virus, causing the COVID-19, neither in the testis nor in the seeds occurs however, could be an important finding, reported study author Dr. James M. Hotaling of the University of Utah.
If a disease like COVID-19 would be sexually transmitted, this would have a significant impact on the prevention of disease and could have serious consequences for the long-term reproductive health of a man, adds the expert.
Seeds analyzed were samples
The researchers samples withdrawals at the time of their study, on average, a month-long 34 Chinese men Seed, after these light to medium-heavy cases of COVID-19 had been diagnosed. In the following laboratory tests was detected in any of the samples of SARS-CoV-2. But just because the Virus was not in the sperm can not be excluded that it was not penetrated in the testes, where sperm cells form, report the researchers.
Long-term damage to sperm?
If the Virus is in the testis, but not in the sperm exist, it cannot be transmitted sexually, explained study author Dr. Jingtao Guo from the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. But if it is in the testicles, it can cause long – term damage to the semen and sperm production, adds Dr Guo.
Expression of a Genpaares examined carefully
In order to clarify this question, the research group analyzed a data set that was generated from a so-called single-cell mRNA-Atlas of healthy, young organ donors. With this Atlas you can study the mRNA, the genetic Material, which is used for the production of proteins, in each individual testis cell. In this case, the researchers investigated allow the Expression of a Genpaares, which is associated with SARS-CoV-2.
Which receptors have been studied?
These two genes, the Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), act as receptors that allow it to SARS-CoV2, in which cells invade and multiply. Thus, the Virus can effectively have access to a cell, must be both receptors in the same cell.
Probably not in human testicular cells
When the scientists examined the record and found that the genes that encode for these two proteins were only found in four of the 6,500 cells in the testicles. This suggests that SARS-CoV-2 is not likely to penetrate human testicular cells, explained Dr. Guo.
There were limitations in the study?
In spite of these results, the research acknowledges that their study has several important limitations, including a small sample size and the fact that none of the Participants was seriously ill at COVID-19.
Serious illness could lead to different results
It could be that a man who is seriously ill at COVID-19, having a higher viral load, which could lead to a greater likelihood of viral load in the semen. That is what we have at the Moment is simply not an answer. But that no virus was demonstrated in patients with mild to moderate forms of the disease study is reassuring, said Dr. Hotaling.
The intimate contact may increase the risk of the spread of the disease
The author of the study warns, however, expressly to the fact that intimate contact with Infected is quite associated with the risk of a COVID-19-Transmission (through the breath, coughing, Sneezing, Kissing). In addition, some Infected asymptomatic can are and appear healthy, even if you give the Virus to other people. (as)