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1.  Can Helicobacter pylori infection influence human reproduction? 
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection could be associated with extra-digestive diseases. Here, we report the evidences concerning the decrease in reproductive potential occurring in individuals infected by H. pylori, especially by strains expressing CagA. This infection is more prevalent in individuals with fertility disorders. Infected women have anti-H. pylori antibodies in cervical mucus and follicular fluid that may decrease sperm motility and cross react immunologically with spermatozoa, conceivably hampering the oocyte/sperm fusion. Infection by CagA positive organisms enhances the risk of preeclampsia, which is a main cause of foetus death. These findings are supported by the results of experimental infections of pregnant mice, which may cause reabsorption of a high number of foetuses and alter the balance between Th1 and Th2 cell response. Infected men have decreased sperm motility, viability and numbers of normally shaped sperm and augmented systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, which may damage spermatozoa. In countries where parasitic infestation is endemic, detrimental effects of infection upon spermatozoa may not occur, because the immune response to parasites could determine a switch from a predominant Th1 type to Th2 type lymphocytes, with production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, the evidences gathered until now should be taken into consideration for future studies aiming to explore the possible role of H. pylori infection on human reproduction.
PMCID: PMC4024765  PMID: 24914316
Antigenic mimicry; Helicobacter pylori infection; Human sperm; Inflammatory cytokines; Preeclampsia; Reproductive disorders
2.  Polysorbate 80 and Helicobacter pylori: a microbiological and ultrastructural study 
BMC Microbiology  2012;12:217.
The frequent occurrence of chemoresistant strains reduces the chances of eradication of H. pylori infection and prompted the investigation of non-antibiotic substances active against this organism. Some surfactants enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics for their permeabilizing properties towards bacteria. We examined the antimicrobial activity to H. pylori of the surfactant polysorbate 80, used alone and in association with amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, levofloxacin and tetracycline. We also aimed to study the ultrastructural alterations caused upon H. pylori by polysorbate 80, alone and in combination with antibiotics. Twenty-two H. pylori strains were tested using the broth dilution method. After incubation, broth from each dilution was subcultured onto agar enriched with foetal bovine serum to determine the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC). Synergistic effect of polysorbate 80 with antibiotics was investigated by the broth dilution and disc diffusion techniques. Ultrastructural alterations of organisms treated with polysorbate 80, alone and in association with antibiotics were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy.
MBCs of polysorbate 80 ranged from 2.6 (1.1) μg/ml to 32 (0) μg/ml. Polysorbate 80 exerted a synergistic effect when associated with metronidazole and clarithromycin: polysorbate 80 and metronidazole MBCs decreased by ≥ 4 fold; clarithromycin MBCs for two resistant strains decreased by 20 and 1000 times. The principal alteration caused by polysorbate 80 consisted in the detachment of the outer membrane of bacteria.
The bactericidal activity of polysorbate 80 and the synergistic effect of the association with metronidazole and clarithromycin could be useful in the treatment of H. pylori infection.
PMCID: PMC3537525  PMID: 22998649
Bacteria; Antibiotics; Chemoresistances; Polysorbate 80; Transmission electron microscopy
3.  The presence of bacteria species in semen and sperm quality 
To verify the prevalence of semen bacterial contamination and whether the contamination could decrease sperm quality.
Spermiogram, semen culture, and sperm transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis were performed. TEM data were elaborated using a mathematical formula that calculates a fertility index (FI)—able to define patients as fertile or infertile—and the percentage of sperm apoptosis, immaturity and necrosis. We aligned the amino acid sequence of beta-tubulin with protein of the most frequent species isolated from semen.
Patients were divided according to the contaminating species; in each group, we observed fertile individuals, in whom the semen quality was similar to that of controls and infertile men whose sperm quality was significantly decreased, in terms of motility, FI, apoptosis and necrosis. Partial homology between β-tubulin and bacterial proteins was observed.
Sperm bacterial contamination is quite frequent and could contribute to the deterioration of the sperm quality of infertile men.
PMCID: PMC2649329  PMID: 19089609
Bacteria; Semen quality; Spermatozoa; TEM

Results 1-3 (3)