Alternatives to antibiotics on artificial reproduction: New publication

We just had accepted a publication about our research on sperm selection and sperm chromatin. Dr. Morrell from SLU in Uppsala collaborates with us in this research line supported by two granted projects. In this article, “Low density Porcicoll separates spermatozoa from bacteria and retains sperm quality” (OA), we have scaled the Porcicoll SLC-based sperm selection technique to the pre-application stage. Dr. Morrell is the inventor of the colloid and one of the leading developers of SLC. She demonstrated the ability of the method for removing bacteria from ejaculates when using a low-density colloid.

We are very interested in improving the chromatin integrity of the pig sperm for industrial use, and bacterial contamination is a challenge. With this collaboration, we are enabling the use of large-volume SLC for removing bacteria from semen. Therefore, no antibiotics might be added for cooled storage. We demonstrate that after collection in conditions allowing for bacterial contamination, low-density SLC was able to remove most bacteria and keep counts low and improve sperm quality. Notably, sperm chromatin benefited by decreasing DNA fragmentation, a key event related to reduced fertility.

This research allows us to advance towards a better application of reproductive techniques while achieving H2020 objectives regarding the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Reducing antibiotic use is a positive step for the pig industry and society as a whole. Besides, we successfully carried out the experiment while processing large volumes of ejaculate, which is an incremental step towards applying these methods in the pig industry.

Below: Plots showing bacterial relationships in the sperm samples, and correlations among bacterial species and sperm quality parameters.

heatmap correl

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