Could chlamydia be a silent cause of infertility in men?

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in Australia, however many people who have been exposed to the virus will have no symptoms and will be unaware of their infection. Chlamydia infection in women is linked to infertility, but whether chlamydia causes infertility in men is unknown.

Researchers in Australia have now found active chlamydia infection shows a surprisingly high prevalence in testis biopsies from infertile men. Although this research cannot reveal a causal link between chlamydia infection and human male infertility, studies in mice suggest that chlamydia infection in the testis can directly impair sperm production.

More research is urgently needed to establish whether chlamydia is a potentially preventable cause of human male infertility.