Coronavirus can infect testicles finds new study – possible symptom in men to look for


The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the world for well over a year now, yet new insights continue to emerge about the virus. A new study published in the journal Microorganisms has found SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – can infect the testes of infected hamsters. The finding is instructive because it may help to explain a reported symptom peculiar to men.

Some patients have reported testicular pain and some reports have shown decreases in testosterone, a key hormone produced in the testes.

Autopsies have also shown significant disruption of the testes at the cellular level, including the presence of immune cells.

“Given the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to investigate how this disease can impact the testes, and the potential consequences for disease severity, reproductive health, and sexual transmission,” said Dr. Rafael Kroon Campos, the study’s lead author and postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Shannan Rossi at UTMB.

How did the researchers gather their findings?

The Rossi lab has been studying Zika virus infection in the testes for years and wondered if SARS-CoV-2 could cause a similar disease.

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Hamsters are commonly used to model COVID-19 in humans since the viral disease seems to take a similar course in the rodents.

Virus was detected in the testes of all infected hamsters during the first week but tapered off.

The authors think this same symptom progression may occur in men with mild to moderate COVID-19 disease.

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“These findings are the first step in understanding how COVID-19 impacts the male genital tract and potentially men’s reproductive health,” said Rossi, an associate professor in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology & Immunology.

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“We have much more to do before we have the full picture. Moving forward, we will investigate ways to blunt this impact, including using antivirals, antibody therapies and vaccines.”

Future studies also include modelling conditions associated with severe COVID-19, such as pre-existing conditions like obesity and diabetes and SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the study authors said.

Other new developments

A new study presented at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) found COVID-19 patients suffered from cognitive and behavioural problems two months after being discharged from hospital.

Specific issues included impaired memory, spatial awareness and information processing problems.

“We have much more to do before we have the full picture. Moving forward, we will investigate ways to blunt this impact, including using antivirals, antibody therapies and vaccines.”

Future studies also include modelling conditions associated with severe COVID-19, such as pre-existing conditions like obesity and diabetes and SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the study authors said.

Other new developments

A new study presented at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) found COVID-19 patients suffered from cognitive and behavioural problems two months after being discharged from hospital.

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Specific issues included impaired memory, spatial awareness and information processing problems.

“The chances of having long-term symptoms does not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get COVID-19,” explains the health body.

“People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.”

How to respond to coronavirus symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.

You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.





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