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Prevalence of mycoplasmas in the semen and vaginal swabs of Danish stallions and mares

Baczynska, A., Fedder, J., Schougaard, H., Christiansen, G.
Veterinary microbiology 2007 v.121 no.1-2 pp. 138-143
Mycoplasma, semen, cervical mucus, stallions, mares, mycoplasmosis, disease detection, animal fertility, reproductive disorders, genitalia, longitudinal studies, microbial detection, Denmark
The reproduction rate of horses is one of the lowest within domestic livestock despite advances the veterinary medicine. Infertility in horses may be due mainly to the lack of suitable selection criteria in the breeding of horses. However, acquired infertility due to genital, bacterial infections may occur. Mycoplasmas have been implicated in genital disorders and infertility of many species including humans and horses. However, their role as commensals or pathogens of the genital tract of horses is still not determined. Bacteriological examinations made on the fossa glandis, urethra, penis and semen of stallions, showed the presence of different Mycoplasma species. Therefore our study aimed to find the prevalence of Mycoplasma species and a possible association with fertility problems in Danish riding horses. Eighty semen samples from stallions and 19 vaginal swab samples from mares were tested by PCR for presence of mycoplasmal DNA. The vaginal swab samples were also cultured in the Mycoplasma specific medium. None of the samples were positive for presence of genital mycoplasmas during the screen. The lack of genital mycoplasmas observed in this study may be due to a very extensive use of artificial insemination of modern sport horses.