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      Absence of SARS‐CoV‐2 in Semen of a COVID‐19 Patient Cohort

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          Abstract

          Background

          Since SARS‐CoV‐2 infection was first identified in December 2019, the novel coronavirus‐induced pneumonia COVID‐19 spread rapidly and triggered a global pandemic. Recent bioinformatics evidence suggests that angiotensin converting enzyme 2—the main cell entry target of SARS‐CoV‐2—is predominantly enriched in spermatogonia, Leydig and Sertoli cells, which suggests the potential vulnerability of the male reproductive system to SARS‐CoV‐2 infection.

          Objectives

          To identify SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA in seminal plasma and to determine semen characteristics from male patients in the acute and recovery phases of infection.

          Methods

          From February 26 to April 2, 2020, 23 male patients with COVID‐19 were recruited. The clinical characteristics, laboratory findings and chest computed tomography scans of all patients were recorded in detail. We also investigated semen characteristics and the viral RNA load in semen from these patients in the acute and recovery phases of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection using approved methods.

          Results

          The age range of the 23 patients was 20–62 years. All patients tested negative for SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA in semen specimens. Among them, the virus had been cleared in 11 patients, as they tested negative. The remaining 12 patients tested negative for SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA in semen samples, but were positive in sputum and fecal specimens. The median interval from diagnosis to providing semen samples was 32 days, when total sperm counts, total motile sperm counts and sperm morphology of the patients were within normal ranges.

          Discussion and Conclusion

          In this cohort of patients with a recent infection or recovering from COVID‐19, there was no SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA detected in semen samples, which indicates the unlikely possibility of sexual transmission through semen at about 1 month after first detection.

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          Author and article information

          Contributors
          leijieatepi@vip.sina.com
          Yuanmingzhen2005@126.com
          Journal
          Andrology
          Andrology
          10.1111/(ISSN)2047-2927
          ANDR
          Andrology
          John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
          2047-2919
          2047-2927
          29 June 2020
          : 10.1111/andr.12848
          Affiliations
          [ 1 ] Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong First Medical University Jinan Shandong China
          [ 2 ] Shandong Provincial Hospital Cheeloo College of Medicine Shandong University Jinan Shandong China
          [ 3 ] Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention Jinan Shandong China
          Author notes
          [*] [* ] Corresponding author:

          Mingzhen Yuan, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong First Medical University, Jinan, Shandong, China, No. 324, Jingwu weiqi Road, Jinan 250021, China.

          Yuanmingzhen2005@ 123456126.com

          Jie Lei, Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No. 16992 Jingshi Road, Jinan 250014, China.

          leijieatepi@ 123456vip.sina.com .

          [†]

          Mingzhen Yuan and Jie Lei contribute equally as corresponding authors.

          Author information
          https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4458-6202
          Article
          ANDR12848
          10.1111/andr.12848
          7362062
          32598557
          b4a8a143-4e20-4d4a-b3df-1425922bd3f8
          This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

          This article is being made freely available through PubMed Central as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency response. It can be used for unrestricted research re-use and analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source, for the duration of the public health emergency.

          History
          Page count
          Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Pages: 14, Words: 387
          Categories
          Original Article
          Original Articles
          Custom metadata
          2.0
          accepted-manuscript
          Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.8.5 mode:remove_FC converted:15.07.2020

          sars‐cov‐2,semen,covid‐19
          sars‐cov‐2, semen, covid‐19

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