Protozoan parasitic diseases are endemic in many countries worldwide especially in developing countries, where infertility is a major burden. These infections can cause diminished or absent ability to conceive (infertility) due to impairment in male and female reproductive systems.
Materials and methods
Medline, PubMed, Scopus, Google scholar manuscripts were used to identify the most relevant studies on protozoan parasitic infections and their implications in human and model animal infertility.
Literature described that some of the protozoan parasites such as Trichomonas vaginalis may causes deformities of genital tract, tubal inflammation and effects on semen quality. Toxopalasma gondii, plasmodium spp. and Trypanosoma brucei spp. cause damage in the pituitary gland, hormonal disorders and decrease semen quality. Trypanosoma cruzi inhibits cell division in embryos and impair normal implantation and development of placenta. Entamoeba histolytica infection can cause pelvic pain, salpingitis, Tubo-ovarian abscess and genital ulcers. Cutaneous and Visceral leishmaniasis causes genital lesion, testicular amyloidosis, inflammation of epididymis, prostatitis and sperm abnormality in human and animals.
Findings of this review indicate that protozoan parasitic infections may be an important cause of infertility. According to the widespread prevalence of parasitic protozoa diseases in worldwide we recommend further studies to better understand the relationship between these infections and infertility as well as examination of both partners in treatment of infertility.