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Seminal shedding of human herpesviruses

Maja D Kaspersen and Per Höllsberg*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus C DK-8000, Denmark

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:226  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-226

Published: 8 July 2013


Most of the human herpesviruses can be found in semen, although the reported prevalence varies considerably between individual studies. The frequent presence of herpesvirus in semen raises the question whether sexual transmission of the virus could have an impact on human reproduction. Only few studies have associated seminal shedding of herpesviruses with impaired sperm quality, reduced fertility, or reduced chances of pregnancy, whereas most studies fail to find an association. Taken together, no firm evidence is so far linking the presence of herpesviruses in semen to impaired human reproduction.

Herpesviruses; HSV; EBV; HCMV; HHV-6A/B; HHV-7; Sperm; Semen; Sexual transmission; Fertility