The mosquito-borne Zika virus is already known to cause birth defects in infants, and now a new study suggests it may also severely impact male fertility. In male mice infected with the virus, the testes suffer severe damage, impacting sperm.
More studies are needed to figure out whether human men would be similarly affected, but it’s another curveball from the fast-spresding virus. “This is the only virus I know of that causes such severe symptoms of infertility,” Dr. Kelle Moley, a fertility specialist at Washington University in St. Louis who helped lead the study, told NBC News.
The studies showed the virus reduces sperm count in mice by 90% in just three weeks.