CMV, Zika and Standards for screening

What is CMV status?

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

We screen all of our donors for CMV. We only accept sperm from a donation period where the donor was IgM negative (did not have an active infection). We have both CMV negative and CMV positive donors. CMV positive donors do not have an active infection; they have had CMV in the past and retained antibodies to it.

If you are CMV positive, you may use either a CMV positive or CMV negative donor. If you know you are CMV negative, or are using a clinic that requires a CMV negative donor, please use the filter options in the donor search to narrow your selection to a CMV negative donor. Most individuals are unaware of their CMV status and the majority of adults will have had a CMV infection at some point in their life and be CMV positive. 

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. Due to the regular screening for IgM antibodies and the processing of sperm, the risk of contracting the virus from sperm is considered to be minuscule.

All donors have their CMV status listed on their profile.

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), Israel (ISR), Italy (ITA), Norway (NO), New York State (NYS), Sweden (SE), United Kingdom (UK) 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.