Characteristic and mechanism of immobilization effect of Staphylococcus aureus on human spermatozoa

Jiahui Li, Bin Li, Jiangning Song, Haiyang Liu, Wenzi Bi, Guofeng Dong, Tieli Zhou

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Objective: This study was designed to investigate the impacts of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from sperm of male infertility patients, and explore the mechanism of the spermatozoa immobilization attributed to S. aureus. Methods: S. aureus MJ015 and MJ163, the representative strains of immobilization positive and negative group respectively, were obtained from semen of infertile men. Computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) were performed to measure sperm motility. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was utilized to assess morphological alterations of spermatozoa. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were undertaken to analyse the difference between the secretory proteins of MJ015 and MJ163. Results: A highly significant decline in motility of spermatozoa after incubating with cultured supernatant of MJ015 by sperm motility measurements, which was not observed when co-cultured with the supernatant of MJ163. TEM illustrated that the culture supernatant of MJ015 contributed to apparently ultrastructural impairment and inhibitory impacts on sperm motility. Various proteins expressed by two samples were identified. Data processing and database search preliminarily establish a link between four differential proteins and spermatozoal immobilization ability. Conclusions: Our data manifested that the clinical isolates of S. aureus have a key role on the motility and morphology of sperm. A better correlation between four identified differentially expressed proteins and the marked decline of the motility of spermatozoa was established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • 2-DE
  • LC-MS/MS
  • Secreting factors
  • Sperm motility
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • TEM

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