Zika Virus Affects Fertility of Male Mice

baby albino rat held in hand with a glove by researcher

Recent studies by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have revealed some damage Zika virus could do to male mice. After infected with Zika, male mice start to lose their fertility function – lost of sperm and shrinking of testes up to 90%. The harm affects mice really fast, and are possibly irreversible even after the virus is cleared from the bloodstream.

Zika virus can stay in men’s sexual organs for up to 6 months. Data on how Zika virus affects human beings is lacking to make conclusions on how it could affect fertility in men. However, there are chances that the virus could destroy men’s sperm in a similar way that it does to mice. Men usually do not find out they are infertile until they try to have children. Therefore, it might take longer to have more cases to study how the virus influences men’s fertility function. More studies are underway.

To read more about this research, please visit http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/31/health/zika-shrinks-mice-testicles/