Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Single layer centrifugation as a method for bacterial reduction in bull semen for assisted reproduction

Cojkic, Aleksandar; Hansson, Ingrid; Johannisson, Anders; Axner, Eva; Morrell, Jane M.


Semen samples contain bacteria originating from the animal urogenital tract, environment, and/or contamination during semen processing, negatively affecting sperm quality by producing toxins and/or competing for nutrients in extenders. The aims of this study were to evaluate two methods of Single-layer centrifuges (SLC), high and low density colloid, as a method for bacterial removal from bull semen, and to evaluate sperm quality after treatment. In total, semen samples from 20 bulls (3 ejaculates per bull) were used in this study. Bacterial reduction was evaluated by bacterial quantification (colony forming unit - CFU/mL) while bacterial identification was performed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) after culturing bacteria on blood agar. Sperm motility parameters were evaluated by Computer Assisted Sperm Analyses (CASA), and sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) by Flow cytometry. Both, High and Low density SLC reduced number of bacteria significantly (p < 0.001) compared with control. The difference in bacterial count between High and Low SLC was also significant (p < 0.001). Furthermore, High density SLC was successful in removing almost all Bacillus and Proteus spp. Most CASA parameters were significantly improved after both treatments (p < 0.001, p < 0.01, p < 0.05). The Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragmentation index evaluated by SCSA in High (p < 0.01) and Low (p < 0.05) SLC group differed significantly compared with control. Single-layer centrifugation (SLC) with either a high or a low density colloid is a suitable method for bacterial removal in bull semen.


Bull semen; Bacterial contamination; Single-layer centrifugation; MALDI-TOF MS

Published in

Veterinary Research Communications
2024, Volume: 48, number: 1, pages: 39-48