Animal Sperm Microbiota

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 17748

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Guest Editor
1. Institute of Horticulture, Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering, Slovak University of Agriculture, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 94976 Nitra, Slovakia
2. Department of Bioenergetics, Food Analysis and Microbiology, Institute of Food Technology and Nutrition, Rzeszow University, Cwiklinskiej 1, 35-601 Rzeszow, Poland
Interests: antimicrobial activity of biological active compounds; food microbiology; honey microbiology; bees GIT etc.
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Dear Colleagues,

Animal sperm microbiota is comprised of the bacteria that are responsible for animal semen infections and may originate from the animal urinary tract or be sexually transmitted. In the past, it was predominantly characterized by classic microbial methodological approaches, but up to date, our knowledge about this is fairly simple. New questions in this field are very relevant mainly for the practical possibilities in the prevention of such animal infections or for the natural ways of conservation of animal sperm. The first group of answers will arise from the latest research activities in the field of natural bioactive substances and their defending mechanisms that meets a very promising effects in applicability as well as sustainability. The second group of answers is based on NGS methods and expands our knowledge of animal sperm microbiota per se.  

We invite original research papers and reviews that address new and interdisciplinary methods and approaches and cover a wide range of animal sperm microbiota characteristics as well as different natural protective bioactive substances that are promising in the practical handling with animal semen.  Additional topics may include the effects of application of different bioactive substances in different animal semen characteristics.

Prof. Miroslava Kačániová
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • animal sperm microbiota
  • bioactive substances
  • germplasm conservation
  • animal semen infection
  • protective effect

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 903 KiB  
Article
Boar Semen Contamination: Identification of Gram-Negative Bacteria and Antimicrobial Resistance Profile
by Luminita Costinar, Viorel Herman, Elena Pitoiu, Ionica Iancu, Janos Degi, Anca Hulea and Corina Pascu
Animals 2022, 12(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12010043 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4001
Abstract
Bacterial contamination of boar semen occurs with some frequency in artificial insemination centers and may have a negative effect on the quality of the semen as well as on the sows’ reproductive capacity. Normally, the source of bacterial contamination in pig seminal doses [...] Read more.
Bacterial contamination of boar semen occurs with some frequency in artificial insemination centers and may have a negative effect on the quality of the semen as well as on the sows’ reproductive capacity. Normally, the source of bacterial contamination in pig seminal doses is the own boar. However, distilled water or laboratory equipment used to elaborate the seminal doses can be an important source of bacterial contamination. This study focused on the identification of gram-negative bacteria in boar semen, and impact on the quality of ejaculates obtained from boar, as well as on the establishment of antimicrobial resistance patterns of isolated gram-negative bacteria. Semen samples were collected from 96 boars, ranging in age from 12–36 month, from three artificial insemination centers from the North-West of Romania. Bacterial species were identified by two methods: matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and API 20 E (BioMerieux, France). The main bacteria isolated from the doses diluted semen were gram-negative bacteria (47.91%), with a majority of the contaminant bacteria belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae: Seratia marcescens 19.56%, Proteus mirabilis 15.21% and Escherichia coli 10.86% and to the family Pseudomonaceae: Ralstonia picketii 17.39%, Burkholderia cepacia 10.86%, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 8.69%, and Pseudomonas fluorescens 4.34%, respectively. More than half of these isolates (56.52%) were resistant to gentamycin and 58.69% were resistant to penicillin. These antibiotics are very frequently added in sperm diluent in the centers for the processing of sperm from boars in Romania. Regular monitoring for bacterial contamination is an important aspect of a control program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sperm Microbiota)
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13 pages, 9913 KiB  
Article
Core Microbiome of Slovak Holstein Friesian Breeding Bulls’ Semen
by Juraj Medo, Jana Žiarovská, Michal Ďuračka, Eva Tvrdá, Štefan Baňas, Michal Gábor, Matúš Kyseľ and Miroslava Kačániová
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113331 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2450
Abstract
Bacterial contamination of semen is an important factor connected to the health status of bulls that may significantly affect semen quality for artificial insemination. Moreover, some important bovine diseases may be transmitted through semen. Up to now, only a very limited number of [...] Read more.
Bacterial contamination of semen is an important factor connected to the health status of bulls that may significantly affect semen quality for artificial insemination. Moreover, some important bovine diseases may be transmitted through semen. Up to now, only a very limited number of complex studies describing the semen microbiome of bulls have been published, as many bacteria are hard to cultivate using traditional techniques. The 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing strategy allows for the reliable identification of bacterial profiles of bovine semen together with the detection of noncultivable bacterial species. Fresh samples from Holstein Friesian breeding bulls (n = 55) were examined for the natural variability in the present bacteria. Semen doses were selected randomly from Slovak Biological Services in Nitra, Slovak Republic. The most predominant phyla within the whole dataset were Firmicutes (31%), Proteobacteria (22%), Fusobacteria (18%), Actinobacteria (13%) and Bacteroidetes (12%). Samples of semen were divided into two separate clusters according to their microbiome compositions using a cording partition around a medoids analysis. Microbiomes of the first cluster (CL1) of samples (n = 20) were based on Actinobacteria (CL1 average = 25%; CL = 28%) and Firmicutes (CL1 = 38%; CL2 = 27%), while the second cluster (CL2; n = 35) contained samples characterized by a high prevalence of Fusobacteria (CL1 = 4%; CL2 = 26%). Some important indicator microbial groups were differentially distributed between the clusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sperm Microbiota)
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16 pages, 328 KiB  
Article
The Efficiency of Selected Extenders against Bacterial Contamination of Boar Semen in a Swine Breeding Facility in Western Slovakia
by Eva Tvrdá, Ondřej Bučko, Kristína Rojková, Michal Ďuračka, Simona Kunová, Ján Kováč, Filip Benko and Miroslava Kačániová
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113320 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
Bacteriospermia has become a serious factor affecting sperm quality in swine breeding, this is why antibiotics (ATBs) are a critical component of semen extenders. Due to ever-increasing antimicrobial resistance, the aim of this study was to assess the efficiency of selected commercially available [...] Read more.
Bacteriospermia has become a serious factor affecting sperm quality in swine breeding, this is why antibiotics (ATBs) are a critical component of semen extenders. Due to ever-increasing antimicrobial resistance, the aim of this study was to assess the efficiency of selected commercially available semen extenders to prevent a possible bacterial contamination of boar ejaculates. Three Androstar Plus extenders containing different combinations of antibiotics were used to process ejaculates from 30 healthy Duroc breeding boars. Androstar Plus without antibiotics was used as a control. The extended samples were stored at 17 °C for 72 h. Sperm motility, viability, mitochondrial activity, DNA integrity and oxidative profile of each extended sample were assessed following 24 h, 48 h and 72 h. Furthermore, selective media were used to quantify the bacterial load and specific bacterial species were identified with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. The results indicate that semen extenders enriched with ATBs ensured a significantly higher preservation of the sperm quality in comparison to the ATB-free control. The total bacterial count was significantly decreased in the extenders supplemented with ATBs (p < 0.001), however gentamycin alone was not effective enough against Gram-positive bacteria, while a few colonies of Enterococcus hirae, Bacillus subtilis and Corynebacterium spp. were present in the samples extended in the presence of a triple combination of ATBs. In conclusion, we may suggest that semen extenders enriched in antibiotics were not able to fully eliminate the bacteria present in the studied samples. Furthermore, selection of suitable antibiotics for semen extension should be accompanied by adequate hygiene standards during the collection and handling of boar ejaculates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sperm Microbiota)
15 pages, 3477 KiB  
Article
Staphylococcus-Induced Bacteriospermia In Vitro: Consequences on the Bovine Spermatozoa Quality, Extracellular Calcium and Magnesium Content
by Michal Ďuračka, Kamila Husarčíková, Mikuláš Jančov, Lucia Galovičová, Miroslava Kačániová, Norbert Lukáč and Eva Tvrdá
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113309 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1835
Abstract
Bacterial contamination of bovine ejaculates intended for artificial insemination may be reflected in a significant economic loss due to unsuccessful fertilization as well as health issues of the recipients. The Staphylococcus genus represents a large part of bacteriocenosis of bovine ejaculates. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
Bacterial contamination of bovine ejaculates intended for artificial insemination may be reflected in a significant economic loss due to unsuccessful fertilization as well as health issues of the recipients. The Staphylococcus genus represents a large part of bacteriocenosis of bovine ejaculates. Therefore, this study aims to get a closer look on the effects of Staphylococcus-induced bacteriospermia under in vitro conditions on bovine sperm quality. Prior to inducing bacteriospermia, spermatozoa were separated from each ejaculate using Percoll® Plus gradient medium in order to limit the effects only to the selected bacterial species. Seven Staphylococcus species previously isolated from bovine semen were used for our experiments at a turbidity of 0.5 McFarland (equivalent to 1.5 × 108 colony-forming units per mL). The contaminated semen samples were incubated at 37 °C and at times of 0, 2, and 4 h, motility, mitochondrial membrane potential, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, sperm DNA fragmentation, and magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) extracellular concentration were analyzed and compared with the control group (uncontaminated). The results showed no significant changes at the initial measurement. However, significant adverse effects were observed after 2 h and 4 h of incubation. Most notably, the presence of S. aureus, S. warneri, S. kloosii, and S. cohnii caused a significantly increased ROS production, leading to sperm DNA fragmentation, changes in the mitochondrial membrane potential, and a decreased sperm motility. Furthermore, the presence of Staphylococcus species led to lower extracellular concentrations of Mg and Ca. In conclusion, the overgrowth of Staphylococcus bacteria in bovine semen may contribute to oxidative stress resulting in sperm DNA fragmentation, altered mitochondrial membrane potential, and diminished sperm motility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sperm Microbiota)
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20 pages, 676 KiB  
Article
Identification of Bacterial Profiles and Their Interactions with Selected Quality, Oxidative, and Immunological Parameters of Turkey Semen
by Michal Lenický, Tomáš Slanina, Miroslava Kačániová, Lucia Galovičová, Michaela Petrovičová, Michal Ďuračka, Filip Benko, Ján Kováč and Eva Tvrdá
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1771; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061771 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4666
Abstract
This study focused on the identification of naturally occurring bacteria in the reproductive fluid and impact on the quality of ejaculates obtained from the turkey breed British United Turkeys (BUT) Big 6 (n = 60). We determined possible relationships between the bacterial load [...] Read more.
This study focused on the identification of naturally occurring bacteria in the reproductive fluid and impact on the quality of ejaculates obtained from the turkey breed British United Turkeys (BUT) Big 6 (n = 60). We determined possible relationships between the bacterial load and advanced sperm quality parameters that are important for effective artificial insemination and high fertility, as well as the concentration of selected antimicrobial proteins and pro-inflammatory markers of turkey semen. Sperm motility was assessed with computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA), while the membrane and acrosome integrity were examined with smearing and staining methods. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was quantified via luminometry, sperm DNA fragmentation was evaluated using the TUNEL assay, and the JC-1 assay was applied to evaluate the mitochondrial membrane potential. Cell lysates were prepared to investigate the extent of lipid and protein oxidation. Furthermore, levels of interleukins 1 and 6 (IL-1, IL-6), C-reactive protein, cathelicidin, and β-defensin were quantified in the seminal plasma using the ELISA method. The most dominant species identified by the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry was Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus lentus, and Citrobacter braakii. The bacterial load had a negative effect on the sperm motility (p < 0.001), as well as membrane (p < 0.05) and acrosome integrity (p < 0.01). A strong positive relationship between the bacterial load and DNA fragmentation (p < 0.001) was detected as well. Positive associations were recorded between the increasing presence of bacteria, ROS overgeneration (p < 0.001), and a subsequent oxidative damage to the proteins (p < 0.001) and lipids (p < 0.01). It was revealed that the antimicrobial peptides β-defensin (p < 0.001) and cathelicidin (p < 0.001) had a positive relationship with the motility. In contrast, pro-inflammatory markers, such as IL-1 (p < 0.001) and IL-6 (p < 0.001), had a negative impact on the motion behavior of turkey spermatozoa. Our results suggest that the semen quality may be notably affected by the bacterial quantity as well as quality. It seems that bacteriospermia is associated with inflammatory processes, oxidative stress, sperm structural deterioration, and a subsequent risk for a failed artificial insemination in turkey breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Sperm Microbiota)
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