Immunobead Antisperm Antibody Test (ASAB)
Direct ASAB Testing
The husband’s sperm is tested for the presence of antisperm antibodies in the Direct ASAB Test. The husband should avoid ejaculation for a period of two to five days before his scheduled test. He will be admitted into a private room in the clinic where he should collect a semen specimen by masturbation into a sterile container. Alternatively, he may pick up the sterile container from our office and collect the specimen at home. He must bring the sample to our lab within one hour of collection. He will also fill out a short information form for the lab.
Indirect ASAB Testing
Blood is drawn from the husband and/or wife and the serum is isolated from the blood. The serum is tested indirectly for the presence of antibodies to sperm by incubating it with donor sperm in the Indirect ASAB Test. If antisperm antibodies are present in the serum, they will attach to the donor sperm and cause a positive test result.
Explanation of the Antisperm Antibody Test
Your doctor may request the Immunobead Antisperm Antibody Test for a variety of reasons. These include a Semen Analysis which shows sperm agglutination (sticking together), a Post-Coital Test (PCT) which is abnormal, or unexplained infertility. This test is also a prerequisite for all IVF patients.
Results: Immunobeads are small beads that are treated with special proteins. If antibodies to sperm are present, these beads will attach to the sperm. One hundred motile (swimming) sperm are evaluated for bead attachment. For the male, if twenty or more of these sperm have beads attached to them (a result of 20% or greater), this is considered a positive test and indicates that antisperm antibodies may be present. For the female, a result greater than 10% is considered a positive test.
How does a positive ASAB test affect IVF sperm and egg preparation and fertilization?
If the husband tests positive for ASAB, his semen specimen for IVF will be collected into a specimen cup containing a buffer solution that will minimize the effect of ASAB on the sperm. Normal IVF fertilization rates (fertilization of 50% or more of the mature eggs) are usually achieved with this treatment. When the female partner or both partners have tested positive for ASAB, or if the husband also has a compromised semen specimen (low count, low motility or low SPA), fertilization rates may be lower and your physician may suggest ICSI.