Research Article

Seminal fluid excretion of cytomegalovirus related to immunosuppression in homosexual men.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 25 June 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:2010
  1. R J Biggar,
  2. H K Andersen,
  3. P Ebbesen,
  4. M Melbye,
  5. J J Goedert,
  6. D L Mann,
  7. D M Strong


    Seminal fluid samples from 84 Danish homosexual men were successfully cultured to determine the prevalence of cytomegalovirus excretion. Ten (15%) out of 66 men positive for the antibody were found to be excreting the virus. Although the proportion excreting was inversely related to age (p less than 0.01), three men aged over 30 and with many years of homosexual experience excreted the virus. In addition, a 50 year old man with Kaposi's sarcoma excreted the virus. A further study of the ratio of T cell helpers to suppressors in the men aged over 30 and a series of age matched non-excreting homosexual control or heterosexual men showed that those excreting cytomegalovirus in their seminal fluid had statistically lower ratios (all less than 0.77) than the controls (p less than 0.05). Excretion of cytomegalovirus may be related to re-emergence of latent infection in immunosuppressed homosexual men.