Skip to main content

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) in semen and testis: a role in infertility? An overview


In the past decade, infection of the female genital tract with the ubiquitous adeno-associated viruses (AAV) has been reported by a number of authors. Though the virus is thought to be non-pathogenic, there were hints on an association of AAV with miscarriage and problems in pregnancy. In more recent years it has been discovered that there is also a rather frequent infection of male genital tissues supporting the hypothesis that this virus may be sexually transmitted and may play a role in infertility.


  1. 1.

    BANTEL-SCHAAL U., ZUR HAUSEN H.: Characterization of the DNA of a defective human parvovirus isolated from a genital site. Virology, 1984, 134: 52–63.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    BOTQUIN V., CID-ARREGUI A., SCHLEHOFER J.R.: Adenoassociated virus type 2 interferes with early development of mouse embryos. J. Gen. Virol., 1994, 75: 2655–2662.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    BURGUETE T., RABREAU M., FONTANGES-DARRIET M., et al.: Evidence for infection of the human embryo with adeno-associated virus in pregnancy. Hum. Reprod., 1999, 14: 2396–2401.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    DUPRESSOIR T., SCHLEHOFER J.R.: Infection naturelle à virus adéno-associé (AAV). Ann. Biol. Clin. (Paris), 1999, 57: 667–675.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    ERLES K., ROHDE V., THAELE M., ROTH S., EDLER L., SCHLEHOFER J.R.: DNA of adeno-associated virus (AAV) in testicular tissue and in abnormal semen samples. Hum. Reprod., 2001, 16: 2333–2337.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    FLOTTE R.T., CARTER B.J.: Adeno-associated virus vectors for gene therapy. Gene Therapy, 1995, 2: 357–362.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    HAN L., PARMLEY T.H., KEITH S., KOZLOWSKI K.J., SMITH L.J., HERMONAT P.L.: High prevalence of adeno-associated virus (AAV) type 2 rep DNA in cervical materials: AAV may be sexually transmitted. Virus Genes, 1996, 12: 47–52.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    KIEHL K., SCHLEHOFER J.R., SCHULTZ R., ZUGAIB M., ARMBRUSTER-MORAES E.: Adeno-associated virus DNA in human gestational trophoblastic disease. Placenta, 2002, 23: 4105–4110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    KOTIN R.M., MENNINGER J.C., WARD D.C., BERNS K.I.: Mapping and direct visualization of a region-specific viral DNA integration site on chromosome 19q13-qter. Genomics, 1991, 10: 831–834.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    MERLE L., ROHDE V., SCHLEHOFER J.R.: Evidence of chromosomal integration of AAV DNA in human testis tissue. Virus Genes, 2004, 28: 61–69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    ROHDE V., ERLES K., SATTLER H.P., DEROUET H., WULLICH B., SCHLEHOFER J.R.: Detection of adeno-associated virus in human semen: does viral infection play a role in the pathogenesis of male infertility? Fertil. Steril., 1999, 72: 814–816.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    SCHLEHOFER J.R.: The tumor suppressive properties of adeno-associated viruses. Mutat. Res., 1994, 305: 303–313.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    SCHLEHOFER J.R., DUPRESSOIR T.: Infectiology and pathology of human adeno-associated viruses. Contrib. Microbiol., 2000, 4: 59–67.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    TOBIASCH E., RABREAU M., GELETNEKY K., et al.: Detection of adeno-associated virus DNA in human genital tissue and in material from spontaneous abortion. J. Med. Virol., 1994, 44: 215–222.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    VENTUROLI S., CRICCA M., BONVICINI F., et al.: Detection of adeno-associated virus DNA in female genital samples by PCR-ELISA. J. Med. Virol., 2001, 64: 577–582.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    WALZ C., DEPREZ A., DUPRESSOIR T., DURST M., RABREAU M., SCHLEHOFER J.R.: Interaction of human papillomavirus type 16 and adeno-associated virus type 2 coinfecting human cervical epithelium. J. Gen. Virol., 1997, 78: 1441–1452.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    WALZ C., ANISI T.R., SCHLEHOFER J.R., GISSMANN L., SCHNEIDER A., MULLER M.: Detection of infectious adenoassociated virus particles in human cervical biopsies. Virology, 1998, 247: 97–105.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jörg R. Schlehofer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schlehofer, J.R. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) in semen and testis: a role in infertility? An overview. Androl. 14, 317–319 (2004).

Download citation

Key words

  • adeno-associated virus
  • semen
  • testis
  • infertility