Sperm Quality during Storage Is Not Affected by the Presence of Antibiotics in EquiPlus Semen Extender but Is Improved by Single Layer Centrifugation
Al-Kass, Z.; Spergser, J.; Aurich, C.; Kuhl, J.; Schmidt, K.; Johannisson, A.; Morrell, J.M.
ISSN/ISBN: 2079-6382 PMID: 29267226 DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics7010001
Contamination of semen with bacteria arises during semen collection and handling. This bacterial contamination is typically controlled by adding antibiotics to semen extenders but intensive usage of antibiotics can lead to the development of bacterial resistance and may be detrimental to sperm quality. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of antibiotics in a semen extender on sperm quality and to investigate the effects of removal of bacteria by modified Single Layer Centrifugation (MSLC) through a colloid. Semen was collected from six adult pony stallions (three ejaculates per male). Aliquots of extended semen were used for MSLC with Equicoll, resulting in four treatment groups: control and MSLC in extender with antibiotics (CA and SA, respectively); control and MSLC in extender without antibiotics (CW and SW, respectively). Sperm motility, membrane integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential and chromatin integrity were evaluated daily by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and flow cytometry. There were no differences in sperm quality between CA and CW, or between SA and SW, although progressive motility was negatively correlated to total bacterial counts at 0 h. However, MSLC groups showed higher mean total motility (P < 0.001), progressive motility (P < 0.05), membrane integrity (P < 0.0001) and mitochondrial membrane potential (P < 0.05), as well as better chromatin integrity (P < 0.05), than controls. Sperm quality remained higher in the MSLC groups than controls throughout storage. These results indicate that sperm quality was not adversely affected by the presence of antibiotics but was improved considerably by MSLC.