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Book chapter - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Alternatives to antibiotics in semen extenders used for artificial insemination

Morrell, Jane; Malaluang, Pongpreecha; Cojkic, Aleksandar; Hansson, Ingrid


Antimicrobial resistance is a serious global threat requiring a widespread response. Both veterinarians and medical doctors should restrict antibiotic usage to therapeutic use only, after determining the sensitivity of the causal organism. However, the addition of antibiotics to semen extenders for animal artificial insemination represents a hidden, non-therapeutic use of antimicrobial substances. Artificial insemination for livestock breeding is a huge global enterprise with hundreds of million sperm doses prepared annually. However, reporting of antimicrobial resistance in semen is increasing. This review discusses the consequences of bacteria in semen samples, as well as the effect of antimicrobial substances in semen extenders on bacteria in the environment and even on personnel. Alternatives to antibiotics have been reported in the scientific literature and are reviewed here. The most promising of these, removal of the majority of bacteria by colloid centrifugation, is considered in detail, especially results from an artificial insemination study in pigs. In conclusion, colloid centrifugation is a practical method of physically removing bacteria from semen, which does not induce antibiotic resistance. Sperm quality in stored semen samples may be improved at the same time.


antimicrobial resistance; assisted reproduction technologies; semen preservation; environmental bacteria; food of animal origin; livestock production

Published in

Title: The Global Antimicrobial Resistance Epidemic : Innovative Approaches and Cutting-Edge Solutions
ISBN: 978-1-80356-041-0, eISBN: 978-1-80356-043-4
Publisher: IntechOpen