Semen microbiota: cluster analysis of real-time PCR data
To this day semen microbiota is still poorly understood, and clinical significance of detecting specific microorganism groups has not been clearly determined. The aim of this work was to conduct cluster analysis of semen microbiota detected using real-time PCR. 634 semen samples of reproductive age men were analyzed. Microbial DNA in the quantity of no less than 103 GE/ml was detected in 460 samples (72.5%). From 1 to 14 microorganism groups were detected in 350 samples (55.2%) in the quantities that exceeded the threshold values (the detection rate of specific groups: 3.3–21.0%). In these 350 samples 4 stable microbiota clusters were determined. Each of the clusters was characterized by the prevalence of a specific microorganism group: obligate anaerobes (cluster 1; n = 172; detection rate — 49.1%), Lactobacillus spp. (cluster 2; n = 78; detection rate — 22.3%), gram-positive facultative anaerobes (cluster 3; n = 62; detection rate — 17.7%), Enterobacteriaceae / Enterococcoccus (cluster 4; n = 62; detection rate — 10.9%). Cluster 1 was less stable and was characterized by the larger species diversity compared to other clusters.