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Frequently asked questions for: SpermMar™ IgA kit

FAQ1: Can or should we do an indirect SpermMar IgA test ?
No, you probably shouldn't.
Performance of the indirect IgA SpermMar test is to be considered experimental and the clinical meaning of its results has not been established.

FAQ2: Can we perform the SpermMar IgA test on washed spermcells ?
We advice against washing the spermcells before performing the direct SpermMar IgA test for a number of reasons.
First of all, some washing media contain human serum albumin (HSA). HSA tends to form a "shield" around the spermcells which hide the antibodies so that they can not be detected by the test method.
Secondly, washing the sperm sample will remove most of the antibodies that could be present in the seminal plasma and might thus render false negative results.

FAQ3: We do the SpermMar IgG test, should we also do the SpermMar IgA test ?
Some laboratories only do the SpermMar IgG on a routine basis, in case of a positive IgG they also do an IgA. It does happen however that a patient with a negative IgG is positive for IgA.
So, from a clinical point of view you should do both SpermMar IgG and SpermMar IgA, from an economical point of view however you would probably opt for the IgG as a routine test and IgA for positive IgG's.

FAQ4: Why does the SpermMar IgG kit contain 2 bottles and the SpermMar IgA only 1 ?
The SpermMar IgG kit contains one bottle of latex particles coated with IgG and one bottle of anti-IgG antiserum. The antiserum actually links the antibodies on the surface of the spermatozoa to the antibodies on the surface of the latex particles.
The SpermMar IgA on the other hand contains only one bottle of latex particles coated with monoclonal anti-IgA directly linking the latex particles to the antibodies on the surface of the spermatozoa. The SpermMar IgA therefore only needs 1 bottle of reagents where the SpermMar IgG needs 2.

FAQ5: Do you supply positive or negative controls for the SpermMar IgA test ?
No we don't. Because the SpermMar IgA test can only be used directly on sperm, it is impossible for us to ship motile spermatozoa. The positive and negative controls for the SpermMar IgG test contain plasma and hence can be stored for long time periods.

FAQ6: Does the brown colour of the new SpermMar IgA kit interfere with the interpretation of the result?
No, evaluation of the sample is not affected by the colour of the beads. The beads are slightly larger than the white latex beads and thus, readability is somewhat improved when compared to the old kit.

FAQ7: Over time, the intensity of the brown colour of the beads seems to decrease. Is assay performance affected?
No, a minor colour decrease may indeed occur in function of time. However, stability data have demonstrated that immuno-reactivity of the detection antibody is not affected. The colour change can be explained by a chemical reaction, which is inherent to the nature of the beads.

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