Zika Damages Testes And Causes Infertility In Mice, Washington University School of Medicine Reveals

Published: Nov 01, 2016

The Zika virus attacks cells in mouse testes crucial for sperm and sex hormone generation and hampers reproduction, according to new research that raises the possibility that the virus could affect fertility in men.

There are major caveats to the research, which was published Monday in the journal Nature. The study was conducted in mice, and many findings from mouse studies do not hold up in people. The researchers also used a very powerful dose of Zika when infecting the mice.

And even if the same outcomes bear out in people, researchers have no idea what percentage of men who contract Zika would be affected or just how damaging the infection could be. Many men, for example, can see a drop in their sperm count without having a harder time conceiving a child.

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