Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2018 Sep 7;13(9):e0202699. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202699. eCollection 2018.

Detection and characterization of Lactobacillus spp. in the porcine seminal plasma and their influence on boar semen quality.

Author information

Institute for the Reproduction of Farm Animals Schönow, Bernau, Germany.
Minitüb, Tiefenbach, Germany.
Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


The presence of pathogenic bacteria in ejaculates has been a topic in boar semen preservation over the last decades. Since little information is available on commensal bacteria in boar semen, the aim of the present study was to identify commensal lactobacilli in fresh cryopreserved boar semen and to examine their influence on boar semen quality. Therefore, 111 boar ejaculates were investigated for the presence of Lactobacillus species. Thirty samples (27%) contained viable Lactobacillus species (e.g. L. amylovorus, L. animalis, L. reuteri and Weisella minor). L. animalis and L. buchneri DSM 32407 (isolated from the bovine uterus) qualified for further examinations based on their growth rate in six antibiotic-free boar semen extenders. After a 120 min short-term incubation with an antibiotic-free BTS-extender, progressive motility was diminished (P = 0.001) upon addition of 105 and 106 colony forming units (CFU/mL) L. animalis. The supplementation with L. buchneri DSM 32407 had no significant (P > 0.05) influence on sperm quality during short-term co-incubation. After 168 h long-term co-incubation, motility analysis revealed a negative (P = 0.026) impact of 105 CFU/mL L. buchneri DSM 32407. A concentration- and storage-dependent effect is particularly obvious (P < 0.001) using 106 CFU/mL L. buchneri DSM 32407. Most notably, the thermo-resistance (TRT) for 106 CFU/mL L. buchneri DSM 32407 (P = 0.001) was inferior to BTS with and without gentamicin after 72 and 168 h of semen co-incubation. The supplementation of 105 CFU/mL L. buchneri DSM 32407 impaired progressive motility to a lesser extent. The percentage of mitochondrially active spermatozoa after 96 h (P = 0.009) and membrane-intact spermatozoa after 168 h (P < 0.001) was lower when 106 CFU/mL L. buchneri DSM 32407 were suspended compared with all other groups. Finally, the addition of L. buchneri DSM 32407 to BTS-extended boar semen had no competitive effect on the total amount of bacteria 48 h after co-incubation. In summary, the present study demonstrated that there are Lactobacillus species present in the porcine seminal plasma, which can be cultivated using standard procedures. However, long-term co-incubation of lactic acid bacteria with spermatozoa had a negative influence on spermatozoa.

Conflict of interest statement

The funding company (Minitüb) provided financial support for the research materials (lab supply) for this study after presenting (MS and CG) the design of the study. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials. There are no patents, products in development or marketed products associated with this research to declare.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center