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Detection of chlamydiae in boar semen and genital tracts

, : Detection of chlamydiae in boar semen and genital tracts. Veterinary Microbiology 116(1-3): 149-157

Chlamydiae cause abortion and reproductive disorders in sows. Although organisms can infect the male genital tract, little is known about the disease situation in boars. Hence, we examined the prevalence of chlamydial infection in semen and genital tracts of boars. Samples collected from Swiss boars (group A: n = 42), and boars from Germany (group B: n = 39) were examined by bacteriology, LPS-ELISA, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The latter methodology involved use of three PCR assays including 16Sig rDNA, IGS-S (intergenic spacer 16S/23S-Short) and IGS-L (intergenic spacer 16S/23S-Long) PCR for comparison methods. PCR sensitivity and the presence of potential PCR inhibitors were determined by spiking semen with Chlamydophila (Cp.) abortus DNA. Detection limits of the 16Sig and IGS-S PCR were 10 templates, while the IGS-L PCR was less sensitive (100 templates). Of 25 semen samples that were collected from group A, one semen sample was positive for Cp. psittaci and two were positive for Chlamydia-like organisms by 16Sig PCR. Screening of sera from Swiss boars revealed three animals with positive reactions in the LPS-ELISA, although we failed to detect chlamydiae within organs of these or sera-negative animals by IHC or IGS-S PCR. In group B, 10 ejaculates were positive for Chlamydia (C.) suis and two were positive for Chlamydia-like organisms by 16S PCR. The identification of DNA from Chlamydia-like organisms in semen from both groups of boars was surprising and a role for these bacteria in reproductive diseases requires further assessment. In conclusion, the prevalence of chlamydial infection was low in group A animals indicating that venereal transmission may not be significant for Chlamydia-associated reproductive diseases in pigs, although rare cases may occur.


PMID: 16650659

DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2006.03.021

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