Could COVID‐19 have an impact on male fertility?

The pandemic caused by Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) has led to several hypotheses of functional alteration of different organs. The direct influence of this virus on the male urogenital organs is still to be evaluated. However some hypotheses can already be made, especially in the andrological field, for the biological similarity of the SARS‐CoV and SARS‐CoV2. As well as SARS‐CoV, SARS CoV‐2 uses the ‘Angiotensin Converting Enzyme‐2’ (ACE2) as a receptor to enter human cells. It was found that ACE2, Angiotensin (1‐7) and its MAS receptors are present, over in the lung, also in the testicles, in particular in Leydig and Sertoli cells. A first hypothesis is that the virus could enter the testicle and lead to alterations in testicular functionality. A second hypothesis is that the binding of the virus to the ACE2 receptor, could cause an excess of ACE2 and give rise to a typical inflammatory response. The inflammatory cells could interfere with the function of Leydig and Sertoli cells. Both hypotheses should be evaluated and confirmed, in order to possibly monitor fertility in patients COVID‐19+.

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