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SARS-CoV-2 Infects Hamster Testes

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-0609, USA
Institute for Human Infection and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francesca Caccuri and Daria Bortolotti
Microorganisms 2021, 9(6), 1318;
Received: 21 May 2021 / Revised: 8 June 2021 / Accepted: 14 June 2021 / Published: 17 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV-2 Systemic Effects: New Clues)
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect millions of people worldwide. Although SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus, there is growing concern that the disease could cause damage and pathology outside the lungs, including in the genital tract. Studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection can damage the testes and reduce testosterone levels, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown and evidence of virus replication in testicular cells is lacking. We infected golden Syrian hamsters intranasally, a model for mild human COVID-19, and detected viral RNA in testes samples without histopathological changes up to one month post-infection. Using an ex vivo infection model, we detected SARS-CoV-2 replication in hamster testicular cells. Taken together, our data raise the possibility that testes damage observed in severe cases of COVID-19 could be partly explained by direct SARS-CoV-2 infection of the testicular cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; testes; Sertoli; hamster; reproductive tract SARS-CoV-2; testes; Sertoli; hamster; reproductive tract
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MDPI and ACS Style

Campos, R.K.; Camargos, V.N.; Azar, S.R.; Haines, C.A.; Eyzaguirre, E.J.; Rossi, S.L. SARS-CoV-2 Infects Hamster Testes. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1318.

AMA Style

Campos RK, Camargos VN, Azar SR, Haines CA, Eyzaguirre EJ, Rossi SL. SARS-CoV-2 Infects Hamster Testes. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(6):1318.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Campos, Rafael K., Vidyleison N. Camargos, Sasha R. Azar, Clint A. Haines, Eduardo J. Eyzaguirre, and Shannan L. Rossi. 2021. "SARS-CoV-2 Infects Hamster Testes" Microorganisms 9, no. 6: 1318.

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