Objectives: To assess the occurrence of immunoglobulin (Ig) G, IgA, and IgA subclass antibodies against human sperm fertilization antigen-1 (FA-1) in cervical mucus (CM) and serum of women of infertile couples.
Design: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methodology was used to detect anti-FA-1 antibodies. Antisperm antibodies were detected by agglutinating, immobilizing, and indirect immunobead (IB) methods. Control samples for the ELISA were from 10 women negative in the antisperm antibody assays.
Participants: Samples were from women of 32 infertile couples undergoing antisperm antibody analysis.
Results: One of 10 control CM samples was slightly positive for IgG anti-FA-1 and none for IgA. Of the 22 CM samples from antisperm antibody-positive women, 9 were positive for IgG antibodies, 9 for IgA, 7 for IgA1, and 6 for IgA2. Cervical mucus samples from eight women were positive for both IgA and IgG antibodies. Assay of 19 serum samples, including 8 controls, by ELISA, indicated 9 of 11 from antisperm antibody-positive women and none from controls were positive for IgA and IgG (7 of 9 identical women). In addition, of the nine IgA-positive sera, seven were of the A1 subclass and five were of the A2 subclass. Positive IB assays occurred more frequently in CM and serum samples positive for anti-FA-1 antibodies than in negative samples.
Conclusion: The results suggest that cervical secretions and sera of antisperm antibody-positive women contain IgA and IgG antibodies against sperm antigen FA-1 that may be involved in antifertility effects.