Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Antimicrobially active semen extenders allow the reduction of antibiotic use in pig insemination

Antibiotic use in semen extenders for livestock may contribute to the development and spreading of multi-drug resistance. Antimicrobial control in semen doses for artificial insemination of pigs is indispensable due to the relatively high storage temperature (17 °C). The objectives of this study were first, to examine whether the antimicrobial capacity differs between antibiotic-free extenders and second, to determine whether an antimicrobial active extender provides the possibility to reduce antibiotics. Antibiotic-free semen extenders Beltsville Thawing Solution (BTS) and Androstar Premium were inoculated at 103 to 104 CFU/mL with four pure bacterial strains isolated from boar ejaculates or a mixture thereof, and then stored for 144 h at 17 °C. Bacterial counts after aerobic culture decreased in BTS up to one log level and decreased in Androstar Premium by 2 to 3.5 log levels (p < 0.05). In semen samples from nine boars stored in the inoculated Androstar Premium extender containing half of the standard concentration of gentamicin, bacteria counts were below 101 CFU/mL. Likewise, half of the standard dose of apramycin and ampicillin was fully antimicrobially active and sperm quality was maintained. In conclusion, semen extenders with intrinsic antimicrobial activity allow a reduction in antibiotic use in pig insemination.


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