Arizona Andrology Laboratory & Cryobank
Providing state-of-the-art male fertility testing, processing, cryopreservation, and storage

Gateway Wellness Center - 850 N. Kolb Road, Tucson, AZ 85710

Phone: 520-885-2689 - Fax: 520-731-0715


White Blood Cell Count Assay
The White Blood Cell Assay (WBC) is useful in quantifying the number of certain leukocytes (WBCs) in a semen sample. The test can distinguish these WBCs from the general population of Round Cells (RC) typically reported out in a semen analysis assay. Most human ejaculates contain some leukocytes, with the predominant cell type being the neutrophil. A high concentration of WBCs (leucocytospermia) may indicate the presence of an infection in the reproductive tract.  Furthermore, high concentrations of these cells can have detrimental effects on the semen, including reduction in volume, sperm density, motility, and forward progression. WBCs can also impair sperm function as a result of the various reactive oxygen species they may release, along with possible secretions of cytotoxic cytokines.  The impact of WBCs can depend on the site at which they enter the semen, the type involved, and their state of activation. The granules in neutrophilic polymorphic WBCs contain peroxidase, which together with hydrogen peroxide form free water and oxygen ions. The oxygen ions oxidize benzidine which then colors brown, thus staining the cells brown. The WBC stain also contains a red contrast reagent to differentiate peroxidase positive round cells from peroxidase negative round cells.  Since the WBC concentration is based on the sperm density, a Complete Semen Analysis assay should be ordered along with this assay.

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