Accession Number:



Investigation of Seminal Plasma Hypersensitivity Reactions (AIBS GWI 0046)

Descriptive Note:

Annual rept. 22 Sep 1996-22 Sep 1999

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Since returning from the Gulf War GW, veterans andor their sexual partners have been experiencing burning, pain and swelling of the urogenital tract after exposure to semen. This phenomenon, referred to as Burning Semen Syndrome BSS, is similar to symptoms experienced by civilian women diagnosed with localized seminal plasma hypersensitivity SPH. Desensitization of women with localized SPH using their sexual partners seminal plasma proteins SPP has been successful suggesting an IgE-mediated mechanism. The objectives of this project were to identify the prevalence of BSS, to clinically evaluate GW couples with BSS, to determine if the underlying mechanisms of BSS is immunologic, infectious andor toxicologic in nature and to identify potential treatments for BSS. Among civilians with localized SPH, the male is typically asymptomatic and the females symptoms are alleviated with a condom. Couples with BSS differ in that the male often has burning after contact with his semen and less than half of the females get relief with a condom. Furthermore, many GW couples exhibit features of GW syndrome which confounds their evaluation of BSS symptoms. Civilian and GW couples produce heterogeneous antibody responses. However, unlike civilian couples, GW couples have not improved symptomatically after SPP desensitization. Thus far, although BSS parallels the clinical symptoms manifested by civilians with localized SPH, these two disorders appear to be distinctly different.

Subject Categories:

  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement: