IMPACT OF LATENT TOXOPLASMOSIS ON SEMEN PARAMETERS OF MALE RAT MODEL Mamdouh M. Hegazy1, Nora L. El-Tantawy1, Walaa A. El-ghanam1, Heba Sheta2 Nora Aboulfotouh1 1Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University 2Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University
Background: About one third of the human population is infected with Toxoplasma gondii, along with an over growing number of couples suffering from idiopathic infertility. There is lack about the possible role of Toxoplasma gondii infection in causing infertility in males to whom nearly 50% of the causes were attributed. Objective: Providing novel insights into the associated morbidity in the testes and its reflection on semen analysis, which is considered as the main index of male fertility in clinical andrology. Materials and Methods: Ninety Wistar male rats were infected with cystogenic type II Me49 Toxoplasma strain. Naïve (non-infected) male Wistar rats (30) were used as controls. From the 7th week post infection (time at which brain cysts are expected to be formed) until the 12th week, control (5) and Toxoplasma- infected (15) rats were subjected to weekly semen analysis and estimation of brain cyst burden. Results: Sperm concentration and motility significantly decreased in Toxoplasma-infected rat groups compared to the control rat group. Moreover, abnormal sperm forms significantly increased in Toxoplasma-infected rats. Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that Toxoplasma gondii had negative effects on sperm function and induced progressive deterioration of semen quality.