Immunoglobulin (Ig) G, IgA, and IgA subclass antibodies against fertilization antigen-1 in cervical secretions and sera of women of infertile couples

Fertil Steril. 1993 Oct;60(4):658-63. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)56217-7.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Cervix Mucus / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin A / classification
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis*
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • Infertility, Female / blood
  • Infertility, Female / immunology*
  • Male
  • Spermatozoa / immunology


  • Antibodies
  • Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • fertilization antigen