- July 15, 2016
- Posted by: emobile
- Category: Trending Issues
Emobileclinic Trending Issues
Researchers at the University of Ferrara, Italy have discovered an obscure virus transmitted through kissing as being responsible for idiopathic infertility in some patients. This finding was published online in the Journal PloS One recently.
According to them, the finding has the potential to improve the outcome for a large subset of infertile women. They examined the uteruses of women with unexplained primary infertility and found that 43 per cent of them were infected by HHV-6A, one of the human herpes viruses.
The virus was not found in any of the women whose fertility was normal. Infertility affects approximately 6 per cent of women aged from 15 to 44.
Almost a quarter of these cases are unexplained, prompting many women to go for expensive and traumatic fertility treatments, with no way of knowing if they are likely to work.
The study describes how all the women infected with HHV-6A were found to have abnormal levels of cytokines, which are signalling proteins that facilitate interactions between cells that play an important role in supporting fertilised eggs and foetal development.
It was revealed that higher levels of the hormone estradiol, which fluctuates with the menstrual cycle may trigger the HHV-6A infection.
The virus is typically not detectable in the blood or saliva, so its true prevalence is unknown. However it replicates in the salivary glands and previous research indicates it can be transferred through kissing. Herpes viruses have previously been implicated in male infertility, but no specific virus has yet been conclusively identified as associated with female infertility. The team recommends further research to confirm the findings, which came from a cohort of 66 women, and to determine whether antiviral treatment would help women with the uterine infection. The study’s senior author, Roberta Rizzo, said she believed the research could lead to a treatment for some infertile women. This is important because in recent months leading clinicians have voiced concerns warning that couples struggling to have a baby are being exploited by fertility doctors. Professionals have warned that unscrupulous clinics are offering desperate women further rounds of IVF without properly assessing if they are likely to benefit from the treatment. The fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, also said it was becoming increasingly concerned about patients prescribing “add-on” treatments which had not been properly tested.