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Cooled Storage of Canine Semen: in vitro Effects of Different Concentrations of an Antibiotic Combination on Growth of Mollicutes



The aim of this study was to examine effects of an antibiotic combination at different concentrations on growth of mycoplasma and ureaplasma during cooled storage of canine semen (n = 20). Semen aliquots were diluted with Tris–citric acid–fructose–egg yolk extender containing either 1.0 g/l streptomycin and 0.6 g/l benzylpenicillin (control) or a combination of gentamycin, tylosin, lincomycin and spectinomycin (GTLS-1: 0.25, 0.05, 0.15 and 0.3; GTLS-2: 0.5, 0.1, 0.3 and 0.6; GTLS-3: 1.0, 0.2, 0.6 and 1.2 g/l). Samples were assessed for motility and membrane integrity by computer-assisted sperm analysis immediately after dilution and at 24, 48 and 72 h of cooled storage. Morphologically, normal spermatozoa were determined, and bacterial culture was performed at 24 and 72 h. Mycoplasma spp. were detected in 14 of 20 ejaculates (70%) with severe growth in 12 samples. A reduction but not total elimination of mycoplasma growth occurred in all GTLS extenders with the most pronounced reduction in group GTLS-3 (control vs GTLS-1 and GTLS-2 p < 0.05, control vs GTLS-3 p < 0.001). Ureaplasmas were detected in four ejaculates, and growth was reduced to the same extent in GTLS and control extender. Progressive motility in all groups, total motility in groups GTLS 1–3 and percentage of membrane-intact spermatozoa in groups GTLS 2 and 3 decreased slightly (p < 0.05) over time. In conclusion, dilution of canine semen with GTLS extender has no major detrimental effects on spermatozoa during cooled storage. It reduced the growth but did not totally eliminate mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas from cooled-stored dog semen.