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  • Stsepetova, Jelena; Baranova, Juliana; Simm, Jaak; Parm, Ulle; Rööp, Tiiu; Sokmann, Sandra; Korrovits, Paul; Jaagura, Madis; Rosenstein, Karin; Salumets, Andres; Mandar, Reet (2020)
    Background Only a few microbial studies have conducted in IVF (in vitro fertilization), showing the high-variety bacterial contamination of IVF culture media to cause damage to or even loss of cultured oocytes and embryos. We aimed to determine the prevalence and counts of bacteria in IVF samples, and to associate them with clinical outcome. Methods The studied samples from 50 infertile couples included: raw (n = 48), processed (n = 49) and incubated (n = 50) sperm samples, and IVF culture media (n = 50). The full microbiome was analyzed by 454 pyrosequencing and quantitative analysis by real-time quantitative PCR. Descriptive statistics, t-, Mann-Whitney tests and Spearman's correlation were used for comparison of studied groups. Results The study involved normozoospermic men. Normal vaginal microbiota was present in 72.0% of female partners, while intermediate microbiota and bacterial vaginosis were diagnosed in 12.0 and 16.0%, respectively. The decreasing bacterial loads were found in raw (35.5%), processed (12.0%) and sperm samples used for oocyte insemination (4.0%), and in 8.0% of IVF culture media. The most abundant genera of bacteria in native semen and IVF culture media were Lactobacillus, while in other samples Alphaproteobacteria prevailed. Staphylococcus sp. was found only in semen from patients with inflammation. Phylum Bacteroidetes was in negative correlation with sperm motility and Alphaproteobacteria with high-quality IVF embryos. Conclusion Our study demonstrates that IVF does not occur in a sterile environment. The prevalent bacteria include classes Bacilli in raw semen and IVF culture media, Clostridia in processed and Bacteroidia in sperm samples used for insemination. The presence of Staphylococcus sp. and Alphaproteobacteria associated with clinical outcomes, like sperm and embryo quality.