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With great interest we read the article ‘High prevalence of hepatitis E virus in semen of infertile male and causes testis damage’ recently published by Huang et al in GUT.1 The authors report a strikingly high rate of 28% of hepatitis E virus (HEV) RNA PCR positivity (all of them genotype 4 hour) in semen from infertile men from the Chinese Kunming region (n=185) and they could demonstrate HEV antigens in the testes and HEV-RNA in semen of acutely infected macaques.1 This finding is without precedence and has never been reported. Pathophysiologically, the high rate of HEV detection in semen of infertile men could only be explained by HEV persistence beyond the blood-testis barrier.
Duration of PCR positivity in semen has not been assessed by the authors neither in the infertile man nor in the macaques. Thus, it remains unclear …
Contributors Concept of the study: TH, DV, JS, RL, SR, SF, MA, SS, AL, ML, SP. Acquisition of data: DV, JS, RL, SF. Drafting of manuscript: TH, JS, SP. Reading of manuscript: TH, DV, JS, RL, SR, SF, MA, SS, AL, ML, SP.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
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