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Acta Vet Scand. 2013 Feb 25;55:16. doi: 10.1186/1751-0147-55-16.

Effects on boar semen quality after infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus: a case report.

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IFN - Institute for Reproduction of Farm Animals Schönow e. V, 16321, Bernau, Germany.


The effect of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) on semen quality was examined in a group of 11 spontaneously infected boars in a commercial boar stud. Semen samples were collected 4 weeks prior to 4 weeks post-infection (wpi). Infection with PRRSV of the European genotype subtype 1 (EU-1) was verified by specific quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 36% of the serum samples. All boars seroconverted before 4 wpi and remained in normal condition throughout the study. Comparison of the percentage of morphologically intact spermatozoa revealed an increase of acrosome-defective spermatozoa (P = 0.012) between -4 and 4 wpi. Significant deleterious effects on semen quality were detected for membrane integrity when semen had been stored for 2 days after sampling. Analysis of sperm subpopulations in a thermoresistance test on day 7 after sampling revealed alterations in the percentage of circular, progressively motile spermatozoa (P = 0.013), in the percentage of non-linear, progressively motile spermatozoa (P = 0.01), and on the amplitude of lateral sperm head displacement (P = 0.047). There was no difference in the incidence of mitochondrially active spermatozoa (P = 0.075). Investigation of routine production data between pre- and post-infection status showed no differences on ejaculate volume (P = 0.417), sperm concentration (P = 0.788), and percentage of motile spermatozoa (P = 0.321). This case report provides insights into a potential control strategy for PRRSV outbreaks in boar studs.

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