Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in semen by the polymerase chain reaction in male members of infertile couples
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Although undetected by culture of deoxyribonucleic acid probe of semen samples, Chlamydia trachomatis was nevertheless identified in semen of some symptom-free men by the polymerase chain reaction. This is probably a result of the increased sensitivity of the polymerase chain reaction to detect Chlamydia trachomatis. The increased prevalence of an autoimmune response to sperm in men with this organism in their semen suggests that a subclinical chlamydial infection may activate an immune response to sperm. A similar association between Chlamydia trachomatis in semen and circulating antisperm antibodies in female partners indicates that Chlamydia may also induce an immune response to sperm in women. Infertility in these couples may be the result of a direct inflammatory response in the cervix or endometrium to repeated Chlamydia exposure or of the ability of Chlamydia to evoke an immune response to spermatozoa.