Sperm Ab

Keywords: Sperm antibody

Specimen:

5 mL blood in plain tube from both partners, transported at 4oC.

Semen for detection of antibodies on sperm surface, transported at room temperature.

Cervical mucus, transported at 4oC (see Semen analysis - fertility).

Method:

Detection of antibodies coating spermatozoa may be undertaken using several techniques. The direct immunobead test or the mixed antiglobulin are most commonly employed. 

Serum, seminal plasma and partners' serum, and cervical mucus can be assessed by the indirect immunobead test by incubation of donor sperm.

Reference Interval:

Antibodies are not usually detected.

Application:

This test is one component of the investigation of infertility and should be performed in conjunction with routine semen analysis.

Interpretation:

If antibodies are present their significance is dependent on titre, class of immunoglobulins and site of attachment of antibodies to sperm. 

Frequently interpreted in association with the mucus penetration test - consult laboratory staff. 

Sperm antibodies are often detected following vasectomy and may be associated with infertility after reversal of vasectomy.

Reference:

McLachlan RI et al. Pathology. 2003; 35: 25-33.

WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination and processing of Human Semen. 5th ed. 2010. WHO.