Objectives: We want to evaluate the possible presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in semen samples and semen quality, looking for a possible relationship between the infectious disease and fertility. Methods: In this prospective study, we enrolled 15 consecutive men (age 18-50 years) with positive oropharyngeal swab to SARS-CoV-2 and classified, according to WHO criteria, in mild to moderate disease. A semen sample was collected to detect SARS-CoV viral RNA by the automated Real-Time PCR ELITe InGenius® system and the GeneFinderTM COVID-19 Plus RealAmp Kit assay (ELITechGroup, France). Analysis of semen characteristics was performed according to WHO laboratory manual 5th ed. for the examination and processing of human semen. Blood samples for the dosage of hormonal assay, procalcitonin, interleukin 6, C-reactive protein were obtained. Results: SARS-CoV-2 RNA has not been detected in semen samples from any of the subjects analysed. Sperm analysis exhibited abnormal seminal values in 14 out of 15 patients (93.3%). Furthermore, no difference was detected regarding sperm quality between mild and moderate SARS-CoV-2 patients. No alteration in the inflammatory indices was observed in the studied population, as well gonadotropins and testosterone levels. Conclusions: COVID patients studied exhibits alteration of the seminal fluid both in microscopic and macroscopic characteristics such as hypoposia and increased viscosity, which have not been detected in previous studies. The presence of viral RNA within the seminal fluid was excluded.
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