03165-A: Canine Semen Microbiome

Grant Status: Open

Grant Amount: $14,966
Penelope Banchi, DVM and Ann Van Soom, PhD; Ghent University
May 1, 2023 - October 31, 2024

Sponsor(s): American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Charitable Trust

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Reproductive Conditions
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Abstract

Insufficient male reproductive performance and subfertility are important problems for dog breeders, but the causes underlying acquired infertility cannot be identified in about 50% of dogs. In humans, recent studies have demonstrated an association between semen quality and bacterial communities in the ejaculate, but further research is needed to assess a causal relationship between semen microbiome and semen quality.

Dog semen is not sterile and contains up to 10^5 bacteria/mL. Although previous studies showed no influence of some bacterial species such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella spp., Mycoplasma canis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Streptococcus spp. on conception rates in dogs, it has been suggested that a higher overall concentration of bacteria and the presence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms might be associated with lower semen quality. Furthermore, antimicrobials are often misused in canine reproduction to address infertility problems. Previous research on dog semen microbiome is limited and relied only on culture, potentially missing some pathogens. Next generation sequencing (NGS) allows to describe novel microbiomes without prior knowledge of sequencing information or specific culture requirements. These techniques have been recently used to investigate the seminal microbiome of humans and domestic animals.

The research team’s aim is to perform a comprehensive investigation on the seminal microbiome of male dogs, as such identifying possible links between the seminal bacterial population and different semen parameters, opening a new chapter in canine andrology.

Publication(s)

None at this time.

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