Genitourinary Tract Infections

Infections and inflammation in the male genital tract are associated with an increase in levels of ROS, which in turn results in an imbalance between ROS and antioxidant defenses resulting in OS [88]. Increased seminal leukocyte concentration above the accepted value (>1 x 106/mL) is termed as leukocytospermia. It has been associated with high level of DNA fragmentation in samples from men diagnosed with genitourinary tract infections [ 89 ] . Other mediators of inflammation, cytokines, such as interleukin-6, and interleukin-8 also play a role in increasing levels of ROS [89]. It is important to note that the increased levels of ROS production by leukocytes occur as a defense mechanism against pathogenic organisms [90]. However, these increased levels are also detrimental for the sperm function. The occurrence of OS in cases with genitourinary tract infections is also caused by decrease in antioxi-dants [91].In these cases, semen samples showed low levels of antioxidants such as citric acid and zinc [91] . These antioxidants are also important in maintaining the sperm DNA integrity [92].

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