08 June 2011

Spermatozoon-comet: a quick and reliable test for male infertility

The test, developed by specialists from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, working under the guidance of Professor Sheena Lewis, assesses a man's ability to conceive by measuring the level of DNA damage in sperm. This test allows not only to predict the effectiveness of treatment, but also to quickly select optimal therapeutic approaches, significantly increasing the likelihood of conception and reducing the waiting time for couples eager to become parents.

According to Professor Lewis, one in six couples, as a rule, has difficulty conceiving. In 40% of cases, the reason for these difficulties lies in violations of the functioning of the male body. Until now, experts did not have enough effective methods to assess a man's ability to conceive. Traditionally, the primary diagnosis of male infertility is based on semen quality analysis data (spermogram). However, the clinical value of the results of this test in predicting the probability of conception and the success of treatment is quite limited, especially in cases where there are no visible deviations from the norm.

The SpermComet test got its name due to the fact that when analyzing the results, a sperm with DNA damage looks like a falling comet. The head of the "comet" at the same time consists of intact, and the tail of damaged DNA.

(Images from the Lewis Fertility Testing website)

The study of the tail of the "sperm comet" allows us to estimate with a high degree of accuracy the amount of DNA damage in individual spermatozoa. The quality of sperm is closely related to the probability of conception, and SpermComet is by far the most sensitive of the tests for analyzing sperm DNA.

Currently, the test is produced by a company recently founded specifically for this purpose, and is already offered to patients in several specialized clinics in Glasgow, Dublin and Galway.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of Queen's University Belfast:
Groundbreaking male infertility test could 'bring hope to millions'.


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