Scientists are sounding the alarm about potential damage to male fertility caused by the coronavirus which threatens to wreak havoc on humanity long after the pandemic has abated.
Researchers from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan are calling for more urgent research into the long-term consequences of Covid-19 infection on male fertility, amid mounting evidence of decreased sperm mobility, lower sperm counts and testicular damage.
“We propose that there is an urgent need to track male Covid-19 patients during their recovery,” microbiologist Yu Tian and reproductive biologist Li-quan Zhou said.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the disease Covid-19, enters the human body via an enzyme (called Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) that is present in numerous vital organs including the lungs, heart, kidneys and intestines. This leaves them susceptible to significant damage as the virus gains a foothold and begins replicating uncontrollably.
The enzyme’s receptor can be found in the olfactory, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, neurological and potentially even the male reproductive systems. Preliminary studies have found the presence of the virus in semen samples of Covid-19 positive patients.