Antimicrobials in a rabbit semen extender: effects on reproduction
Keywords:Rabbit, Semen, Dilution media, Bacterial charges, Motility, Fertility
The use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics was legally restricted by the European Commission in March 2019. Since the extender for rabbit semen Galap® contained this antibiotic, it became necessary to modify it. The purpose of this study was to search for another molecule, based on its antimicrobial activity and also on the conservation, motility and fertility of semen diluted with the new extender. Several bacterial strains were isolated from 10 poor-quality ejaculates, including Enterococcus spp., Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus spp. They were then tested for antimicrobial susceptibility. Out of 15 antibiotics evaluated, gentamicin was the one targeting such bacteria. In vivo tests were then carried out to assess the effects of this antibiotic change on sperm parameters. Up to 26 pools of good quality semen (total motility >70%) were diluted in original Galap® or in this extender with gentamicin. Ejaculates were analysed on the day (D) of collection and up to 6 d of storage at +17°C. After 24 h storage, the motility in the new extender was reduced by 7.7% compared to the original; this decrease did not worsen by storing. After 6 d of storage, no difference between the two media was detected. A total of 360 females were then inseminated with pools of 4 to 5 good quality semen diluted 1:10 in both extenders, following the routine protocol of rabbit semen processing centres. There was no difference in female fertility or prolificacy between both formulations. In conclusion, these preliminary results suggest that the addition of gentamicin to this extender is useful and also has no adverse effect on fertility or prolificacy.
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