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Sensorineural deafness and male infertility

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Sensorineural deafness and male infertility is a condition characterized by hearing loss and an inability to father children. Affected individuals have moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by abnormalities in the inner ear. The hearing loss is typically diagnosed in early childhood and does not worsen over time. Males with this condition produce sperm that have decreased movement (motility), causing affected males to be infertile.


The prevalence of sensorineural deafness and male infertility is unknown.


Sensorineural deafness and male infertility is caused by a deletion of genetic material on the long (q) arm of chromosome 15. The signs and symptoms of sensorineural deafness and male infertility are related to the loss of multiple genes in this region. The size of the deletion varies among affected individuals. Researchers have determined that the loss of a particular gene on chromosome 15, the STRC gene, is responsible for hearing loss in affected individuals. The loss of another gene, CATSPER2, in the same region of chromosome 15 is responsible for the sperm abnormalities and infertility in affected males. Researchers are working to determine how the loss of additional genes in the deleted region affects people with sensorineural deafness and male infertility.


Sensorineural deafness and male infertility is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of chromosome 15 in each cell have a deletion. The parents of an individual with sensorineural deafness and male infertility each carry one copy of the chromosome 15 deletion, but they do not show symptoms of the condition.

Males with two chromosome 15 deletions in each cell have sensorineural deafness and infertility. Females with two chromosome 15 deletions in each cell have sensorineural deafness as their only symptom because the CATSPER2 gene deletions affect sperm function, and women do not produce sperm.

Other Names for This Condition

  • chromosome 15q15.3 deletion syndrome
  • deafness-infertility syndrome
  • DIS

Additional Information & Resources

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

Patient Support and Advocacy Resources

Research Studies from ClinicalTrials.gov

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Scientific Articles on PubMed


  • Avidan N, Tamary H, Dgany O, Cattan D, Pariente A, Thulliez M, Borot N, Moati L, Barthelme A, Shalmon L, Krasnov T, Ben-Asher E, Olender T, Khen M, Yaniv I, Zaizov R, Shalev H, Delaunay J, Fellous M, Lancet D, Beckmann JS. CATSPER2, a human autosomal nonsyndromic male infertility gene. Eur J Hum Genet. 2003 Jul;11(7):497-502. Citation on PubMed
  • Hildebrand MS, Avenarius MR, Smith RJH. CATSPER-Related Male Infertility. 2009 Dec 3 [updated 2017 Mar 23]. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, Wallace SE, Bean LJH, Stephens K, Amemiya A, editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2020. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22925/ Citation on PubMed
  • Quill TA, Sugden SA, Rossi KL, Doolittle LK, Hammer RE, Garbers DL. Hyperactivated sperm motility driven by CatSper2 is required for fertilization. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Dec 9;100(25):14869-74. Epub 2003 Dec 1. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Zhang Y, Malekpour M, Al-Madani N, Kahrizi K, Zanganeh M, Lohr NJ, Mohseni M, Mojahedi F, Daneshi A, Najmabadi H, Smith RJ. Sensorineural deafness and male infertility: a contiguous gene deletion syndrome. J Med Genet. 2007 Apr;44(4):233-40. Epub 2006 Nov 10. Erratum in: J Med Genet. 2007 Aug;44(8):544. Lohr, Naomi J [added]. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
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