Because of the Foundation’s extensive history developing semen tests for HIV, it has been a natural extension to adapt that technology for advanced PCR testing for Prostatitis.
Bacteria in Semen
The Foundation’s first wave of experiments has focused on the detection and identification of bacteria in semen. The sophisticated molecular biology approaches developed for HIV detection have been applied to the detection of bacterial genes. Foundation scientists have taken advantage of the large body of new information within the past five years that has revealed that most (estimated at greater than 99%) bacteria have never been identified because they cannot be cultured by standard laboratory culture conditions. Thus, the molecular biology approach to bacteria detection has already shown a relationship between stomach cancers and a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori. H. pylori had not been identified by laboratory culture before it was identified by molecular biology assays.
Results of the first experiments have been published (Detection and identification of bacterial DNA in semen). The molecular biology detection system has been adjusted to detect only bacteria present in sufficient amounts to be candidates for infection. The system does not detect the “normal” bacteria that reside on exposed surfaces, such as skin.
Three groups of semen specimens are currently under examination:
- specimens from men seeking evaluation for infertility treatment,
- specimens from HIV infected men,
- and specimens from men with chronic prostatitis.
The results of the studies will be posted on this website as soon as they are compiled.
Cytomegalovirus in Semen
In addition to bacteria and HIV in semen specimens, the molecular biology detection systems have been adapted to other infectious agents, such as cytomegalovirus virus, CMV. Belonging to the Herpes family of viruses, CMV is a common human infection that usually does not cause severe disease. One exception is if the mother becomes infected early in pregnancy — CMV can sometimes cross the placenta and infect the developing fetus. For this reason, Foundation scientists conducted and published a study on CMV in semen. See publication.
Prostate Specific Markers
In addition to the detection of bacteria, similar molecular biology approaches can be applied to the detection of certain marker proteins for disease, such as prostate specific antigen (PSA). The hope of foundation scientists is to be able to raise sufficient funds to support research to examine semen specimens collected before men undergo prostate biopsy for cancer detection. The possibility of detecting cancer markers in semen specimens holds great promise for improving disease management.
See more news in our blog:
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- Bacteria in Semen (pdf)
- National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC)
- List of Doctors and Researchers with additional information
The Foundation’s Mail-In Prostatitis Test Kit
The Prostatitis Test Kit: The Foundation has developed a mail-in test kit for prostatitis. The test detects increased numbers of white blood cells in your semen, as well as measuring abnormally high levels of bacteria in semen. With the test results you may be able to determine the nature of your infection and the bacteria causing it. Test Kit
Treatment: The test may be able to catch prostatitis in the early stages allowing doctor to prescribe medication before disabling symptoms of prostatic pain develop. The early stages of prostatitis are difficult to detect, therefore it is most commonly diagnosed by constant pelvic pain of the later stages. However with our new semen cytology and prostatitis check, we may be able to detect a prostatitis inflammation before it becomes symptomatic. Prostatitis Testing