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Effect of using frozen–thawed bovine semen contaminated with lumpy skin disease virus on in vitro embryo production

Annandale, C.H.ORCID: 0000-0002-0525-8954, Smuts, M.P., Ebersohn, K., du Plessis, L., Thompson, P.N., Venter, E.H. and Stout, T.A.E. (2019) Effect of using frozen–thawed bovine semen contaminated with lumpy skin disease virus on in vitro embryo production. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 66 (4). pp. 1539-1547.

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Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an important transboundary animal disease of cattle with significant economic impact because of the implications for international trade in live animals and animal products. LSD is caused by a Capripoxvirus, LSD virus (LSDV), and results in extensive hide and udder damage, fever and pneumonia. LSDV can be shed in semen of infected bulls for prolonged periods and transmitted venereally to cows at high doses. This study examined the effects of LSDV in frozen‐thawed semen on in vitro embryo production parameters, including viral status of media and resulting embryos. Bovine oocytes were harvested from abattoir‐collected ovaries and split into three experimental groups. After maturation, the oocytes were fertilized in vitro with frozen‐thawed semen spiked with a high (HD) or a lower (LD) dose of LSDV, or with LSDV‐free semen (control). Following day 7 and day 8 blastocyst evaluation, PCR and virus isolation were performed on all embryonic structures. After completing sufficient replicates to reach 1,000 inseminated oocytes, further in vitro fertilization (IVF) runs were performed to provide material for electron microscopy (EM) and embryo washing procedures. Overall, in vitro embryo yield was significantly reduced by the presence of LSDV in frozen‐thawed semen, irrespective of viral dose. When semen with a lower viral dose was used, significantly lower oocyte cleavage rates were observed. LSDV could be detected in fertilization media and all embryo structures, when higher doses of LSDV were present in the frozen‐thawed semen used for IVF. Electron microscopy demonstrated LSDV virions inside blastocysts. Following the International Embryo Transfer Society washing procedure resulted in embryos free of viral DNA; however, this may be attributable to a sampling dilution effect and should be interpreted with caution. Further research is required to better quantify the risk of LSDV transmission via assisted reproductive procedures.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Blackwell-Wiss.-Verl
Copyright: © 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
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