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Keywords:

  • apes;
  • reproduction;
  • infertility;
  • psychogenic disease;
  • venereal disease;
  • infection;
  • therapy;
  • immunopathology

Abstract

Diagnosis and therapy of infertility in male great apes is not extensively documented. Current suspicion that male infertility is a significant cause of reproductive failure in captive populations of great apes prompted this discussion of veterinary andrology in the ape. The differential diagnosis of infertility in the great ape must include consideration of the numerous pathways of psychoendocrine disease. We must develop methods of preventing and treating neurogenic as well as organic causes of infertility. The rationale for classifying problems of subfertility as primary testicular failure, secondary testicular failure, and normal testicular function is presented along with a current list of pharmacological compounds used to treat infertility. Specific pathological conditions and infections of the male reproductive tract that the veterinary clinician should be familiar with are presented. The implications of syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydial urethritis, genital herpes, and Mycoplasma infection in the great ape are reviewed. The immunological aspects of male ape infertility and therapeutic regimens that may have application are briefly discussed. Our broadening responsibilities to enhance the successful breeding of apes in captivity dictate that the veterinary clinician expand his knowledge and ability to treat male infertility.