Human sperm preservation has been started in 1980. Much earlier sperm preservation was being done for cattle with the intention to improve pedigree. Later on sperm preservation carried on for other mammalians, aquatics and avian also with different motives. During initial days of Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) treatment only few disease was known as disease transmissible by IUI. But now we have a bigger list of disease transmissible by IUI. Moreover unidentified & emerging viruses and prions is ringing an alarm all the time.
Keywords – Human sperm preservation, Sperm preservation, Sperm Cryo-preservation, disease transmission by IUI. Unidentified & emerging viruses, Prions.
Source of infection in IUI —
- Direct Source —————
- Direct source are sperm donor /husband.
- Sperm donor / husband can be properly screened before & after donation for any period of time.
- Sperm donor or husband remain in direct contact with clinician or Sperm Bank, therefore relatively easy to access and screen.
Indirect Source ———–
- Indirect source are serum fraction (human, animal or avian products) added in Cryo-preservative media to augment sperm preservation (cryo-preservation), nutrition, post thaw motility enhancement etc.
- Now a day mainly “Human serum albumin” (HSA) is used for human sperm preservation (cryo-preservation). It is being purchased from companies which is not in direct contact with user. Surprisingly even manufacturing company are giving dubious statement about infectivity or possibility of transmission of disease. Manufactures are not in condition to give full assurance that disease will not be transmitted by the used HSA.
- Infertility clinic or clinician , who performs Human sperm preservation(cryo-preservation) do not have any direct control on quality of HSA. Even they can not cross check it.
- Batch to batch variation in composition is common with HSA and FBS
- Rarely Fetus bovine serum (FBS) or egg yolk is used for Human sperm preservation (cryo-preservation). Zoonotic disease are coming up in sporadic manner all over world. Over 200 diseases are currently classified as zoonoses. Intra Uterine Insemination by Human sperm preservation (cryo-preservation) may directly increase the incidence.
- Serum is an ill defined very complex mixture of large number of constituents with multiple growth promoting & growth inhibiting activities
- Serums contain different amount of endotoxins, hemoglobin & many other adverse factors such as bacteria, fungi, viruses & prions.
- Prions, if present with Bovine serum, can not be diagnosed or destroyed even at very high temperature .
- Even for the manufacturing process of Vaccines many attempts are being taken to find a way to replace growth media containing bovine derived materials by “synthetic” media.
- Freezing of sperm does not have any destructive effect on micro-organism / prions that is being freezed along with sperm.
Purpose of discussion
The aim of this discussion is to point out theoretical & remote possibility of disease transmission by IUI through human , animal or avian protein / serum. Above all, possibility of getting infected by unidentified & emerging viruses are always there. For case of Prions all possible measures are being taken, but because of commercialization & viability, bovine serum manufacturing units may think to import the animals. And infected serum with prions can be supplied in the market.
My point is – When human sperm preservation (cryo-preservation) can be performed without the use of HAS or any serum, why to use Human Serum Albumin (HSA) or any serum.
How effectively human sperm preservation (cryo-preservation) can be done even without HSA can seen by given short clip of video. The used cryo-preservation media does not contain any complex molecule like HSA, or any human, animal or avian protein. It is 100 % chemically defined sperm preservative (cryo-preservative) media. Since it does not contain HSA, therefore its half life is more and cold chain maintenance is not mandatory but preferable. It has been prepared simply by judicious use of amino acids and salts. Post thaw motility recovery varies from 30 to 70 %. Progressive and straight forward motility is clearly visible in the video clip. As we experienced progressive motility is relatively better with this newly developed HSA free cryo-preservative media.