Viral threat to male fertility

Andrologia. 2018 Dec;50(11):e13140. doi: 10.1111/and.13140.


The detrimental effects of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection on mouse testicular functions have reminded a viral threat to male fertility. A broad range of virus families has tropism for male reproductive system, particularly the testes. Certain virus types of these viruses, such as mumps virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), may severely damage the testes and consequently lead to male infertility. ZIKV has been recently found to damage testicular functions and lead to male infertility in mice. Many other viruses also have detrimental effects on host reproduction. Public attention has been paid to sexually transmitted viruses, such as HIV and hepatitis B and C viruses in humans and likewise in economically important farm animals. This article provides an overview on main viruses affecting the male reproductive system and their detrimental effects on fertility, and outlines some important issues for future study.

Keywords: Zika virus; infertility; male reproduction; orchitis; viral infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fertility / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / immunology*
  • Infertility, Male / pathology
  • Infertility, Male / virology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / complications
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / immunology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / pathology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / virology
  • Testis / immunology
  • Testis / pathology*
  • Testis / virology
  • Virus Diseases / complications
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / pathology
  • Virus Diseases / virology
  • Viruses / immunology
  • Viruses / pathogenicity*