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Schulze M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Grobbel M.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Grobbel M.,German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment | Muller K.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | And 4 more authors.
Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene | Year: 2015

Antibiotics are of great importance for the preservation of ejaculates for livestock breading. The use of antibiotics, however, is not an appropriate compensation for a lack of hygiene standards in artificial insemination (AI) centres. Sophisticated hygiene management and the proper identification of hygienic critical control points (HCCPs) at AI centres provide the basis for counteracting the development of antibiotic resistance in contaminant bacteria and their settlement in AI centres. In recent years, efforts have been made to use antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in the preservation of boar semen. Investigations have included the testing of synthetic magainin derivatives and cyclic hexapeptides. One prerequisite for the application of AMPs is that they have a minor impact on eukaryotic cells. Bacterial selectivity, proteolytic stability, thermodynamic resistance, and mechanisms including synergistic interaction with conventional antibiotics have made cyclic hexapeptides highly promising candidates for potential application as peptide antibiotics for semen preservation. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Riesenbeck A.,Genossenschaft zur Forderung der Schweinehaltung | Schulze M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Rudiger K.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Henning H.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | And 2 more authors.
Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene | Year: 2015

In recent years, increased automatization has resulted in a higher efficiency of boar semen processing in AI laboratories. Sophisticated laboratory management and efficient quality control programmes are needed for current tendencies in major pork-producing countries to reduce the sperm number per AI dose, to lengthen semen storage times and to adopt responsible methods for bacterial control and prevention of the development of multiresistant bacteria. The objective of the present review was to outline current trends in boar semen production and the critical steps in semen processing which affect sperm quality. In addition, integrated elements of a quality assurance programme in use by thirty European AI centres in association with the two German spermatology reference laboratories are described. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Schulze M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Rudiger K.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Waberski D.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2015

Contents: It is common practice to rotate boar semen doses during storage for prevention of sperm sedimentation. In this study, the effect of rotation of boar semen doses during storage on sperm quality was investigated. Manual turning twice daily and automatic rotation five times per hour resulted in the following effects: alkalinization of the BTS-extender, loss of membrane integrity at day 3, and loss of motility and changes in sperm kinematics during a thermoresistance test at day 5. Using a pH-stabilized variant of BTS extender, sperm motility and velocity decreased in continuously rotated samples, whereas membrane integrity and mitochondrial activity remain unaffected. It is concluded that rotation of semen samples adversely affects sperm quality and, therefore, should no longer be recommended for AI practice. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


PubMed | University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover and Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Animal reproduction science | Year: 2014

The ability to produce high-quality semen in sufficient quantity is a crucial trait of artificial insemination (AI) boars in the pig industry. Therefore, the selection process of young boars at AI centers, apart from their genetic value, should specifically take into account the quality of collected semen. The aim of the current study was to analyze factors influencing semen quality in boars ranging from 4.5 to 16.8 months of age and to demonstrate the impact of these factors on selection of AI boars. The present multi-factorial analysis includes a complete standard spermatology data set of 4611 semen samples from 3633 young boars of five different breeds. Data were obtained from one reference laboratory during the years 2002-2012. Approximately one-half of the boars were excluded from use for AI due to below-threshold values of semen quality. In this group of excluded boars was a noticeably high number of boars less than 8 months of age. Boar age and breed were identified as significant (P<0.001) factors influencing semen quality. The influence of season was marginal. Therefore, a minimum age is proposed for young boars to qualify for selection, or alternatively, age-related semen quality thresholds in young boars should be established.


Schulze M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Rudiger K.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Jung M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Grossfeld R.,Minitube GmbH
Animal Reproduction Science | Year: 2015

A study was performed to see if refractometry can be used as a new quality control tool for boar semen extenders. For this the refractive index and osmolality of BTS extender concentrations (EC) were recorded in 10%-steps from 50% to 150% and 200% of the correct amount. Twelve boar ejaculates were evaluated for semen quality. The refractive index for the correctly prepared extender was 4.6±0.0°Bx, corresponded to 316±16mOsmkg-1, and correlated highly with osmolality (r=0.99; P<0.001). Total sperm motility with 100% EC differed significantly from ≤70% EC (P<0.001) and 200% EC (P<0.001) on day 1 (d1) and d4, respectively. The percentage of motile spermatozoa in a thermoresistance test on d2 showed a significant drop using ≤70% EC (P=0.047) and ≥140% EC (P=0.004). Secondary apical ridge defects were significantly higher using 50% EC (P<0.001) and ≥150% EC (P=0.032) compared to 100% EC, respectively. An increased number of coiled tails were observed using ≤60% EC (P<0.001). Percentages of spermatozoa with intact membranes on d2 resulted in a significant decrease using 50% EC (P<0.001) and ≥150% EC (P=0.005), respectively. The mean percentage of PI negative spermatozoa with active mitochondria on d2 showed a significant difference using ≤60% EC (P=0.016) and ≥140% EC (P<0.001) compared to 100% EC, respectively. Boar sperm quality is affected by inexact extender preparation. The refractive-index is an indicator of osmolality and may be used to verify semen extender preparation. The sensitivity is sufficient to detect deviations from correct extender preparation before negative effects on sperm quality occur. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Jung M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Rudiger K.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. | Schulze M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc.
Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene | Year: 2015

Optimization of artificial insemination (AI) for pig production and evaluation of the fertilizing capacity of boar semen are highly related. Field studies have demonstrated significant variation in semen quality and fertility. The semen quality of boars is primarily affected by breed and season. AI centres routinely examine boar semen to predict male fertility. Overall, the evaluation of classical parameters, such as sperm morphology, sperm motility, sperm concentration and ejaculate volume, allows the identification of ejaculates corresponding to poor fertility but not high-efficiency prediction of field fertility. The development of new sperm tests for measuring certain sperm functions has attempted to solve this problem. Fluorescence staining can categorize live and dead spermatozoa in the ejaculate and identify spermatozoa with active mitochondria. Computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) provides an objective assessment of multiple kinetic sperm parameters. However, sperm tests usually assess only single factors involved in the fertilization process. Thus, basing prediction of fertilizing capacity on a selective collection of sperm tests leads to greater accuracy than using single tests. In the present brief review, recent diagnostic laboratory methods that directly relate to AI performance as well as the development of a new boar fertility in vitro index are discussed. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Schulze M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc | Ammon C.,Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering | Rudiger K.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc | Jung M.,Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc | Grobbel M.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
Theriogenology | Year: 2015

The present study addresses the microbiological results of a quality control audit in artificial insemination (AI) boar studs in Germany and Austria. The raw and processed semen of 344 boars in 24 AI boar studs were analyzed. Bacteria were found in 26% (88 of 344) of the extended ejaculates and 66.7% (18 of 24) of the boar studs. The bacterial species found in the AI dose were not cultured from the respective raw semen in 95.5% (84 of 88) of the positive samples. These data, together with the fact that in most cases all the samples from one stud were contaminated with identical bacteria (species and resistance profile), indicate contamination during processing. Microbiological investigations of the equipment and the laboratory environment during semen processing in 21 AI boar studs revealed nine hygienic critical control points (HCCP), which were addressed after the first audit. On the basis of the analysis of the contamination rates of the ejaculate samples, improvements in the hygiene status were already present in the second audit (P=0.0343, F-test). Significant differences were observed for heating cabinets (improvement, P=0.0388) and manual operating elements (improvement, P=0.0002). The odds ratio of finding contaminated ejaculates in the first and second audit was 1.68 (with the 95% confidence interval ranging from 1.04 to 2.69). Furthermore, an overall good hygienic status was shown for extenders, the inner face of dilution tank lids, dyes, and ultrapure water treatment plants. Among the nine HCCP considered, the most heavily contaminated samples, as assessed by the median scores throughout all the studs, were found in the sinks and/or drains. High numbers (>103colony-forming units/cm2) of bacteria were found in the heating cabinets, ejaculate transfer, manual operating elements, and laboratory surfaces. In conclusion, the present study emphasizes the need for both training of the laboratory staff in monitoring HCCP in routine semen production and audits in such AI centers for the external control of hygiene parameters. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc. and Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Theriogenology | Year: 2014

The present study addresses the microbiological results of a quality control audit in artificial insemination (AI) boar studs in Germany and Austria. The raw and processed semen of 344 boars in 24 AI boar studs were analyzed. Bacteria were found in 26% (88 of 344) of the extended ejaculates and 66.7% (18 of 24) of the boar studs. The bacterial species found in the AI dose were not cultured from the respective raw semen in 95.5% (84 of 88) of the positive samples. These data, together with the fact that in most cases all the samples from one stud were contaminated with identical bacteria (species and resistance profile), indicate contamination during processing. Microbiological investigations of the equipment and the laboratory environment during semen processing in 21 AI boar studs revealed nine hygienic critical control points (HCCP), which were addressed after the first audit. On the basis of the analysis of the contamination rates of the ejaculate samples, improvements in the hygiene status were already present in the second audit (P=0.0343, F-test). Significant differences were observed for heating cabinets (improvement, P=0.0388) and manual operating elements (improvement, P=0.0002). The odds ratio of finding contaminated ejaculates in the first and second audit was 1.68 (with the 95% confidence interval ranging from 1.04 to 2.69). Furthermore, an overall good hygienic status was shown for extenders, the inner face of dilution tank lids, dyes, and ultrapure water treatment plants. Among the nine HCCP considered, the most heavily contaminated samples, as assessed by the median scores throughout all the studs, were found in the sinks and/or drains. High numbers (>10(3)colony-forming units/cm(2)) of bacteria were found in the heating cabinets, ejaculate transfer, manual operating elements, and laboratory surfaces. In conclusion, the present study emphasizes the need for both training of the laboratory staff in monitoring HCCP in routine semen production and audits in such AI centers for the external control of hygiene parameters.


PubMed | Minitube GmbH and Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schonow Inc.
Type: | Journal: Animal reproduction science | Year: 2014

A study was performed to see if refractometry can be used as a new quality control tool for boar semen extenders. For this the refractive index and osmolality of BTS extender concentrations (EC) were recorded in 10%-steps from 50% to 150% and 200% of the correct amount. Twelve boar ejaculates were evaluated for semen quality. The refractive index for the correctly prepared extender was 4.60.0Bx, corresponded to 31616mOsmkg(-1), and correlated highly with osmolality (r=0.99; P<0.001). Total sperm motility with 100% EC differed significantly from 70% EC (P<0.001) and 200% EC (P<0.001) on day 1 (d1) and d4, respectively. The percentage of motile spermatozoa in a thermoresistance test on d2 showed a significant drop using 70% EC (P=0.047) and 140% EC (P=0.004). Secondary apical ridge defects were significantly higher using 50% EC (P<0.001) and 150% EC (P=0.032) compared to 100% EC, respectively. An increased number of coiled tails were observed using 60% EC (P<0.001). Percentages of spermatozoa with intact membranes on d2 resulted in a significant decrease using 50% EC (P<0.001) and 150% EC (P=0.005), respectively. The mean percentage of PI negative spermatozoa with active mitochondria on d2 showed a significant difference using 60% EC (P=0.016) and 140% EC (P<0.001) compared to 100% EC, respectively. Boar sperm quality is affected by inexact extender preparation. The refractive-index is an indicator of osmolality and may be used to verify semen extender preparation. The sensitivity is sufficient to detect deviations from correct extender preparation before negative effects on sperm quality occur.

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