CMV, Zika and Standards for screening

What is CMV status?

CMV stands for Cytomegalovirus. It is a very common virus, which most people have had before turning 50 years old. Approximately 50% of people aged 20 have been temporarily infected with this virus.

We only screen some of our donors for CMV to accommodate use in certain countries. We only accept sperm from a donation period where the donor was IgM negative (did not have an active infection). In these countries, sperm from a donor who has previously had the infection and is now IgG positive may only be used for women who themselves are IgG positive (who have had the infection earlier).

An infection with CMV is mostly harmless. However, if a fetus is infected with CMV during pregnancy, the fetus could be at risk. This can happen if the mother has a primary infection of CMV during pregnancy. Because of the regular screening for IgM antibodies and the clean-up of sperm for IUI (centrifuging), the risk of virus in the sperm is considered to be minuscule.

The donors who have no CMV status on the website have not and will not be screened for this.

For all donors tested the status will show on the website.

Read more about screening.

What should I know about the Zika virus?

The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus known to cause severe birth defects in babies. Cryos continues to be very proactive in preventing the possible transmission of the Zika virus by implementing policies well in advance of the FDA requirements. While the FDA has not approved a donor screening test for tissue banks, they have issued several Emergency Use Authorizations (EAU) for various test kits used to detect the Zika virus. These test kits are currently being used by blood banks, public health officials and physicians to screen patients for the virus.

In order to provide the safest donor sperm and eggs, all of Cryos donors who made deposits on or after August 1st, 2016 have now been tested.

What is a Standard?

As countries have different regulations regarding selection, screening, and approval procedures for donors and donor sperm, as well as different requirements for documentation, Cryos operates with different "Standards" for release. A donor/ejaculate can be released according to one or several Standards. 

Donors/ejaculates can be released according to the Standards in Denmark (DK), EU, Finland (FI), Holland (NL), Norway (NO), New York State (NYS), United Kingdom (UK), Israel (ISR) and United States of America (USA).

For home insemination you can use any Standard.

For treatment by a professional in one of the above countries you should use the relevant Standards. For treatment by a professional in another country than mentioned above please ask the professional for assistance.

It is the customers responsibility to ensure that import and handling is legal in the destination country.

Read more about Standards here.