Fairfax Cryobank is the ONLY sperm bank using DNA genetic analysis to test donor sperm for the most prevalent HPV (human papillomavirus) strains known to cause cervical cancer.
Why does Fairfax Cryobank do MORE than any other sperm bank? Read our straight forward answers to your questions.
Press Release November 15, 2006: (Click here to view entire release)
Fairfax Cryobank: Testing Donor Sperm for HPV, The Virus That Causes Cervical Cancer; Medical Director Urges Women to Choose Tested Sperm
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted viral disease worldwide. Some types of the virus cause common skin warts, while other types of HPV are considered high risk (e.g. HPV-16 and HPV-18) and have been associated with anogenital cancer, particularly cervical cancer. Recently, clinical studies have confirmed that infection due to the high-risk types of HPV is the primary cause of cervical cancer. Due to the limitations of solely relying on physical examinations and self-reported medical histories, Fairfax Cryobank sought an improved and more direct method of screening for this potentially dangerous virus.
As a result of increased demand from our clients to provide improved HPV screening, research reports linking HPV to cervical cancer, and the Genetics & IVF Institute's (GIVF) unique ability to develop testing methods utilizing molecular technology, Fairfax Cryobank began testing all of its donors for HPV with a proven technology, DNA-based Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a robust Nucleic Acid Amplification Test. All Fairfax Cryobank donors have undergone testing for HPV using DNA PCR in our Molecular Infectious Disease Lab (MIDL) at the Genetics and IVF Institute. While we felt it was important to provide this valuable service to our clients, our beliefs were confirmed following the publication of an article in the March 2001 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology which recommended the direct testing of all donor sperm for HPV using PCR technology.
The GIVF Molecular Infectious Disease Lab (MIDL), established in 1998, is a truly cutting edge CLIA-certified facility dedicated to infectious disease diagnostics using exclusively high sensitivity PCR amplification methods. Molecular infectious disease testing by PCR directly detects pathogen-specific nucleic acid, rather than relying on viral cultures, immunoreactivity, or serology to identify the infectious organism. In addition to supporting the activity of the other GIVF divisions, MIDL is called upon frequently to provide high priority results for prenatal and neonatal units in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. hospitals. Molecular infectious disease testing by PCR can more accurately and rapidly determine the exact organism causing infection, even at low virus levels, thus improving patient care and treatment and decreasing the length of hospital stay.
MIDL is directed by Brian D. Mariani, Ph.D. who has 25 years of experience in molecular genetics, microbiology and biotechnology. Trained at Stanford and Harvard Universities, Dr. Mariani has applied his expertise at GIVF to the design of molecular genetic-based detection assays for a variety of infectious microorganisms from diverse clinical specimen types.
MIDL has also been instrumental in Fairfax Cryobank's ability to provide our colleagues in Canada with high quality donor sperm that meets the Health Canada guidelines. MIDL's DNA PCR technology has been submitted to and accepted by Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the FDA) for STD organisms. Health Canada has the most stringent infectious disease testing requirements of any government regulatory agency.
View: Human Papillomavirus DNA Detection in Sperm Using Polymerase Chain Reaction, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, March 2001
View: Highly Effective Detection of Human Papillomavirus 16 and 18 DNA by Testing Algorithm Combining Broad-Spectrum and Type-Specific PCR, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, September 2006
|For Immediate Release
November 15, 2006
Fairfax Cryobank: Testing Donor Sperm for HPV, The Virus That Causes Cervical Cancer
Medical Director Urges Women to Choose Tested Sperm
Fairfax, VA -- Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted disease in America, can be transmitted through sexual contact or by the use of donor sperm. Infection with certain strains of HPV can cause cervical cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the world. Fairfax Cryobank is the first and only sperm bank that protects its female patients by using DNA genetic analysis to test sperm donors for high-risk strains of HPV known to cause cervical cancer.
"Women who use donor sperm shouldn't have to worry about being infected with HPV," says Harvey Stern, M.D., Medical Director of Fairfax Cryobank. "We urge every woman who is planning to use donor sperm to investigate the scientific testing and screening performed on that sperm."
As many as 20,000 women are estimated to use donor sperm each year to try and achieve pregnancy. Fairfax Cryobank initiated HPV testing on all its sperm donors in 2001, shortly after it was demonstrated that detecting the virus in sperm was possible.
Over 100 types of HPV have been identified. Many are harmless (including those that cause skin warts on hands and feet). About 30 types affect the genital area. Some cause genital warts, but others (in particular HPV-16 and HPV-18) can lead to cervical cancer.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 20 million Americans are currently infected with the genital types of HPV. Approximately 50% of sexually active adults will get HPV in their lifetime. There are 6 million new cases every year.
Many HPV types do not manifest signs or symptoms. Any genital contact, even without intercourse can transmit the virus. Most women discover they have HPV as the result of an abnormal pap smear.
On physical exam, men who carry high-risk strains HPV 16 or HPV 18 can appear healthy. Although sperm used in donor sperm insemination is "washed" to remove impurities, scientific studies show that the HPV virus cannot be entirely removed from the sample by this process.
Because testing of donor sperm for HPV using DNA genetic analysis reduces the risk of transmitting the virus during donor insemination, Fairfax Cryobank is committed to providing this extra level of protection for its clients.
Fairfax Cryobank was founded in 1986 as a division of the world-renowned Genetics & IVF Institute, the world's largest, fully integrated, specialized provider of infertility treatment and genetic services. Fairfax Cryobank, with facilities in Austin TX, Roseville MN, Fairfax VA and Philadelphia PA, provides the highest quality donor semen to all 50 states and many international clients. The company enjoys a long-standing reputation, not only for the most comprehensive donor screening and testing procedures, but also for caring customer service with a personalized touch.