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Cryobiology. 2009 Dec;59(3):357-62. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2009.09.012. Epub 2009 Sep 26.

Influence of recovery method and microbial contamination on the response to freezing-thawing in ibex (Capra pyrenaica) epididymal spermatozoa.

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Departamento de Reproducción Animal, Avda. Puerta de Hierro Km 5.9, INIA, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


The method of sperm recovery may influence the initial quality of sperm samples and their response to freezing-thawing. The aim of the present work was to compare two methods for collecting epididymal spermatozoa in order to improve the quality of recovered sperm and reduce possible contamination. Testes were obtained from 23 legally hunted, adult ibex males. The sperm mass of the right epididymis was collected by small longitudinal and transverse cuts made in the cauda epididymidis. The sperm mass of the left epididymis was collected by retrograde flushing from the vas deferens to the cauda epididymidis (using a cannula), employing a Tris, citric acid, glucose, egg yolk-based medium. The flushing method recovered more spermatozoa (P<0.001) than the cutting method. After freezing-thawing, greater acrosomes damage (P<0.001) and more morphological abnormalities (P<0.05) were seen among the sperm cells recovered by the cutting method than among those obtained by retrograde flushing. The method of sperm recovery did not, however, influence the microbial contamination rate. In frozen-thawed samples that were microbially contaminated, motility was significantly reduced (P<0.05) and membrane integrity tended to be poorer (P=0.06). In conclusion, retrograde flushing is recommended for ibex sperm collection since it would appear that microbial contamination is no more of a problem than that encountered with the cutting method, while a larger number of sperm cells more resistant to freezing-thawing can be obtained.

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