By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Now one can predict one's fertility levels sitting
at home. A special diagnostic kit developed by the Indian Council of
Medical Research (ICMR) will help men to know the quality and
functional ability of sperm and plan treatment for infertility.
The diagnostic kit is now ready for commercial production and the ICMR
has invited companies to submit their proposals by the end of this
month. The ICMR is likely to grant licence for commercial production
in the New Year.
The indigenous kit will not only inform the person undergoing the test
about his sperm quality but also predict about the outcome of
treatment for infertility. The result of sperm quality and its
functional ability will be known in just 60 minutes.
With infertility levels increasing in the country due to factors like
change in lifestyle and atmospheric pollution the new sperm testing
kit has come as a boon to infertile couples. Besides human beings,
the kit can also be used to assess the sperm quality in higher animals
Scientists at the National Institute for Research in Reproductive
Health, an ICMR institute, have already patented the kit named
Resazurin Reduction Test (RRT). This kit is quite affordable and easy
to handle even at home as compared to existing tests based on Sperm
Mitochondrial Activity Index (SMAI), which is costly and
time-consuming. Moreover, RRT is highly reliable and sensitive. It is
diagnostic (finding out the problem) as well as prognostic
(predictive) in function.
“Semen analysis remains the basic tool for assessing male infertility.
The major drawback in routine semen analyses is that it has limited
prognostic value because it cannot evaluate the functional competence
of the semen sample. RRT can be used to assess the quality of sperm in
humans as well as higher animals,” points out an ICMR’s open bid to
companies offering commercialization of the technology. “It has
significant clinical importance as it helps andrologists in providing
timely therapy and thus improving the reproductive health of men,” it
The technology used in RRT helps in prediction in sperm quality
improvement before and after a particular treatment. It also predicts
sperm quality in case of failure of in-vitro fertilization.
ICMR scientists point out that RRT can be performed with a relatively
small volume of semen. It is easy to perform and can be used at home
as a home fertility kit, besides use in primary health centres.
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