The Microbiome May Play A Role in Male Infertility
A study recently epublished in PLoS One indicates that the bacterial composition of semen may determine a man's risk of infertility.
Using 96 semen samples, researchers sought to determine if semen quality—as measured by such factors as semen volume, sperm concentration, motility, antisperm antibody (IgA), and leukocytes—was related to the type of bacteria in the semen.
The researchers' analysis determined that the most predominant bacteria among all samples studied were Lactobacillus, Pseudomonas, Prevotella, and Gardnerella. In normal semen, Lactobacillus and Gardnerella significantly outnumbered the other bacteria. By contrast, in the low-quality semen, Prevotella was the predominant bacteria. In 80.6% of the normal samples, Lactobacillus was the predominant bacteria present.
The study authors concluded, "The analysis results showed seminal bacteria community types were highly associated with semen health. Lactobacillus might not only be a potential probiotic for semen quality maintenance, but also might be helpful in countering the negative influence of Prevotella and Pseudomonas."