Growth dynamic and threshold values for spermicidal effects of multidrug-resistant bacteria in extended boar semen
The aim of this study was first to examine the prevalence of bacteria-associated loss of sperm quality in samples from insemination centers during a seven-year semen monitoring program and, second, to investigate the growth dynamic of four different multidrug-resistant bacterial species and their impact on sperm quality during semen storage. A reduced sperm quality associated with bacterial contamination was found in 0.5% of 3219 of the samples from insemination centers. In samples spiked with Serratia marcescens and Klebsiella oxytoca, bacterial growth by six log levels was seen during storage at 17 °C, causing loss of sperm motility, membrane integrity, membrane fluidity, and mitochondrial membrane potential at >107 CFU/mL (p < 0.05). Storage at 5 °C in the Androstar Premium extender efficiently inhibited their growth. Achromobacter xylosoxidans and Burkholderia cepacia showed limited growth up to two log levels at 17 °C and did not impair sperm quality. In conclusion, spermatozoa tolerate moderate loads of multidrug-resistant bacteria, and hypothermic, antibiotic-free semen storage effectively limits bacterial growth. The constant use of antibiotics in semen extenders should be reconsidered.