Increased intra-epididymal pressure due to obstruction causes a breach in the epididymal lining exposing the highly antigenic sperms to the interstitium. When the exposure is small and intermittent, it is likely to induce a local humoral response which may affect sperm maturation and also react with the epididymal epithelium producing irreversible histological changes. The present study on 30 patients of primary obstructive infertility found direct and indirect evidence of the production of antisperm antibodies locally. ELISA for antisperm antibodies was positive in the epididymal fluid in 16/30 (53%) of the patients. Indirect evidence of the role of local antigen-antibody reaction in the epididymis is apparent in 22/30 (73%) patients who had a lymphocytic infiltrate. The local presence of antisperm antibodies in the epididymal fluid correlated well with the presence of lymphocytic infiltration in the interstitium (p < 0.05). In our study 16/30 patients had a positive ELISA for antisperm antibody and all these patients had interstitial lymphocytic infiltration. In addition eight patients with a negative ELISA also showed interstitial lymphocytic infiltration. Thus 22/30 (73%) patients had an evidence of a local immune reaction directly in the form of a positive ELISA for antisperm antibodies in the epididymal fluid and / or indirect evidence in the form of lymphocytic infiltrate in the interstitium. None of the five controls had either a positive ELISA or lymphocytic infiltrate, this difference was found to be statistically significant (p < 0.005)
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