Low-density colloid as alternative to antibiotics and sperm chromatin improvement

How to replace antibiotics from current semen extenders? We are trying to advance in this topic with Dr. Jane Morrell from SLU and the Spanish colleagues from Topigs-Norsvin. We have just published an article in the Theriogenology journal in which we successfully test a prototype for processing large volumes of pig semen removing bacteria.

These large volumes could be processed with a low-density colloid (Porcicoll, invented by Dr. Morrell), successfully removing contaminating bacteria (skilfully tested by our colleagues of the Microbiology Group at the University of León). This system could substitute for antibiotics currently used in semen extenders.

After storing the semen doses for several days, processed samples showed lower bacterial content, higher quality and notably lower damage in the sperm genetic material. This last point is of major interest for us, as part of our current line of research on the structure of boar sperm chromatin. In subsequent studies we are studying more specifically the effect of bacterial contamination and the remediation by the colloid, and the impact on many sperm chromatin parameters.

sperm 500ml bottles

Large-volume bottles after the centrifugation in a laminar-flow hood (Cell Biology, University of León). The sperm pellet is visible. Semen medium with seminal plasma, debris and bacteria is retained on top of the colloid (barely visible).

This experiment was part of two projects (RTI2018-095183-B-I00, MCI/AEI/FEDER, EU, and LE023P20, Junta de Castilla y León/Consejería de Educación/FEDER, EU) for studying the sperm chromatin and the use of colloids for processing semen. This line of work contribute to the circular economy and the improvement of the agroalimentary sector by enhnancing the application of artificial insemination and reducing antibiotic use.

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