December 4, 2022

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COVID-19 Omicron infection caused acute testicular damage and atrophy!

COVID-19 Omicron infection caused acute testicular damage and atrophy!



 

COVID-19 Omicron infection caused acute testicular damage and atrophy!


On February 24, England in the United Kingdom will end its obligation to isolate people infected with the COVID-19, and cancel the supply of free COVID-19 testing kits (except for vulnerable groups) on April 1 , officially announcing “coexistence with the COVID-19”. Many European countries such as Switzerland, Denmark, and Germany have also joined the “coexistence with the COVID-19” army.

At the same time, as the number of new confirmed cases and hospitalizations fell by 67% and 38% respectively in the past two weeks, many states in the United States lifted the mask order, and California “bears the brunt” of treating the COVID-19 as an endemic disease. “Although there are still risks, it is time for the United States to start gradually returning to normal.” Fauci, an American infectious disease expert and White House epidemic adviser, said on Wednesday.

 



The world is opening up one after another, do you really need to worry about the risks brought by the COVID-19 virus?

Earlier, the “New York Post” reported that “after a man in the United States was infected with the COVID-19 virus, his genitals shrunk by 1.5 inches (about 3.8cm) .” As soon as the news came out, it caused a lot of panic on the Internet. But because it is a very isolated example, this statement is not tenable.

However, researchers from the Li Ka Shing School of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong suggests that even mild new coronavirus infection may cause acute testicular injury, accompanied by chronic asymmetric testicular atrophy and changes in related hormone levels. The paper was published Feb. 18 in Clinical Infectious Diseases .




DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciac142


In the experiment, the researchers inoculated the hamsters with the new coronavirus (including the original strain, Delta and Omicron two variants) through intranasal infection or direct testicular infection , and selected the influenza virus H1N1 as a control group to monitor the testis of the hamsters. virological, immunological and pathological changes.

 

New coronavirus infects testicles

 

Both the control group and the experimental group, the hamsters developed self-limiting (meaning that the disease can automatically stop and gradually recover after the disease develops to a certain extent, no special treatment is required) respiratory tract infection. This can be understood as a mild illness.

Although the viral load and the expression of the new coronavirus N protein in the testis are significantly lower than those in the lung tissue, after direct inoculation of the COVID-19 into the testis, the expression of the N protein can be detected in the Leydig cells and epididymal epithelial cells, which means that the COVID-19 can Direct attack on the testicles.



COVID-19 Omicron infection caused acute testicular damage and atrophy!Viral load in testes and lungs



On the 4-7th day after the researchers inoculated the new coronavirus into the nose of the hamster, the sperm count of the hamster dropped sharply, only about 54% of that before the infection, and the reproductive-related hormones-serum testosterone and inhibin B also decreased significantly. .

At 42-120 days post-infection, testicular atrophy was evident, volume and weight decreased by about 32%, and sperm count dropped sharply to about 17% of the original. It is accompanied by acute inflammation of the testis, hemorrhage, necrosis of seminiferous tubules, and disruption of spermatogenesis.



COVID-19 Omicron infection caused acute testicular damage and atrophy!Sperm count and weight after infection day 1-7

 

COVID-19 Omicron infection caused acute testicular damage and atrophy!Sperm count and weight after infection day 42-120



Observation of testicular cell sections revealed that the higher the amount of virus inoculated to the hamster, the more severe the testicular damage.

After increasing viral concentrations in hamsters, edema of the interstitial space and slight changes in germ cells were observed in 33% of the hamsters after only 1 day of infection.

Four days after infection, 18.7% of the hamsters had severe testicular hemorrhage and 43.8% had severe seminiferous tubule necrosis.



A similar situation occurred in hamsters infected with the Delta and Omicron variants, but none of the above testicular infections or lesions were seen in H1N1-infected controls.



COVID-19 Omicron infection caused acute testicular damage and atrophy!Effects of Delta and Omicron on testicular quality and sperm count



Can we just “sit back and wait”? Not really. After inoculating hamsters with two inactivated vaccines, researchers found that even if the immunized hamsters were infected with the new coronavirus, they could effectively prevent the occurrence of pathological damage to testicular tissue . In other words, testicular damage can be prevented by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

The protective effect of vaccine on testis



To sum up, this study has proved from the level of animal experiments that even mild new coronavirus infection can cause acute testicular damage, which further leads to changes in sex hormone levels and hypogonadism, but this phenomenon can be prevented by vaccination. .

During the recovery period after the COVID-19 infection, male patients should pay attention to the possible hypogonadism (low libido) and reduced fertility. The COVID-19 vaccination can effectively prevent this complication.

Recently, the epidemic situation in Hong Kong has continued to ferment, and the number of confirmed cases has risen sharply in a short period of time.

According to data released by the Hong Kong Department of Health on the 23rd, as of 0:00 that day, 8,674 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 were added in Hong Kong, with a total of 75,248 confirmed cases.

Due to the low vaccination rate and the high proportion of the elderly population, the number of deaths caused by this round of epidemics is quite staggering. Yesterday alone, 24 new deaths were reported in Hong Kong, bringing the total number of deaths to 153.

 

Looking at the vaccination rate of the COVID-19, it can be found that the vaccination rate of the two-shot vaccine in Hong Kong is less than 80%. In this case, since there is no immune protection, the sequelae caused by the COVID-19 (such as the testicular damage mentioned above) are also very problematic.

 

 

 

 

 

references:

doi:10.1093/cid/ciac142

COVID-19 Omicron infection caused acute testicular damage and atrophy!

(source:internet, reference only)


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