Ureaplasma urealyticum reduces motility and induces membrane alterations in human spermatozoa

Hum Reprod. 1998 Oct;13(1O):2756-61. doi: 10.1093/humrep/13.10.2756.


The in-vitro effects of several concentrations of Ureaplasma urealyticum on the motility, membrane integrity and morphology of washed spermatozoa from healthy donors were studied. A significant reduction in sperm motility and signs of membrane alteration, directly related to U.urealyticum concentration and contact time were observed. Scanning electron microscopy examination showed masses of U. urealyticum attached to the head and middle piece of some of deformed spermatozoa. It is suggested that U.urealyticum is involved in sperm changes leading to male infertility, particularly when there is heavy U. urealyticum colonization or specific infections with this microorganism.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Infertility, Male / pathology
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Sperm Motility*
  • Spermatozoa / microbiology*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / ultrastructure
  • Ureaplasma Infections / complications
  • Ureaplasma Infections / pathology
  • Ureaplasma Infections / physiopathology
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum / pathogenicity*