MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Roberta Rizzo PhD
Department of Medical Sciences
Section of Microbiology
University of Ferrara
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Infertility affects approximately 6% of 15-44 year old women or 1.5 million women in the US, according to the CDC. Approximately 25% of female infertility cases are unexplained, leaving women with few options other than expensive fertility treatments. Researchers are trying to identify factors and mechanisms at the basis of this condition.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found that the little-known member of the human herpesvirus family called HHV-6A infects the lining of the uterus in 43% of women with unexplained infertility but cannot be found in that of fertile women.
Little is known about HHV-6A, which was discovered in 1986 and is one of nine human herpesviruses. Others include Epstein Barr virus, varicella-zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex types 1 and 2. Since HHV-6A is typically not detectable in the blood or saliva, its true prevalence is unknown and its implication in human pathologies is still controversial.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: We think that the virus could make underlying fertility problems worse.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: The next steps will be to determine further whether infertile condition is due to the virus, or to changes in endometrial immune system caused by the virus.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: This work opens up a new frontier in the struggle against fertility problems: women with fertility problems could take advantage in antiviral therapy to re-create a receptive endometrial environment.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Roberto Marci, Valentina Gentili, Daria Bortolotti, Giuseppe Lo Monte, Elisabetta Caselli, Silvia Bolzani, Antonella Rotola, Dario Di Luca, Roberta Rizzo. Presence of HHV-6A in Endometrial Epithelial Cells from Women with Primary Unexplained Infertility. PLOS ONE, 2016; 11 (7): e0158304 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158304
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