• Effect of Repeated Collection on Semen Characteristics of Alpacas

    Semen characteristics of alpacas were studied after repeated collections. Twelve adult males were divided into three groups of four each for semen collection once, twice, or three times every other day. The duration of copulation; volume of ejaculate; pH; motility; sperm concentration (number of sperm/milliliter semen); total number of sperm per ejaculate; and percentages of live, normal, and abnormal spermatozoa were analyzed by regression analysis. Semen color and consistency were analyzed by the chi-square test. Between the first, second, and third ejaculations, there were differences (p < 0.05) in sperm concentration; percentages of normal spermatozoa and abnormal spermatozoa; sperm with abnormal heads and abnormal tails; and consistency (viscous, viscous, and semi-viscous). There were no differences (p > 0.05) in ejaculated volume, percentage of live spermatozoa, pH, percentage of cytoplasmic droplets, and duration of copulation. Some males from which semen was collected on the three-mating schedule ejaculated only seminal plasma during the second and third copulation starting on Day 10 of the study. There were differences between males (p < 0.05) for most of the characteristics studied. In sum, frequency of mating affected some semen characteristics that may be important determinants of the fertility of male alpacas. more »
  • Degelification of Alpaca Semen and the Effect of Dilution Rates on Artificial Insemination Outcome

    Degelification of highly viscous alpaca semen was attempted using two enzymes: trypsin and collagenase. Dilution effect on artificial insemination was determined in alpacas. Semen from 4 male alpacas was collected, degelified, diluted, and inseminated into 80 female alpacas. Degelification was achieved adding trypsin and collagenase enzymes to fresh semen samples. Semen was diluted with egg-yolk glucose citrate to give concentrations of 4, 8, and 12 million spermatozoa/mL. Females were induced to ovulate with human chorionic gonadotropin and then inseminated deep into the uterine horns. Analysis of variance was used to determine differences in the effect of trypsin and collagenase on sperm acrosome and on motility and live spermatozoa. The chi-square test was used to determine differences in pregnancy of artificially inseminated females. Semen was degelified with different concentrations of trypsin and collagenase. There were differences (p< .05) in the pregnancy rate of female alpacas inseminated with 4 million (53.3%), 8 million (66.7%), and 12 million sperm/mL (61.5%). Alpaca semen may be degelified using trypsin and/or collagenase. It seems that 8 million sperm/mL is adequate for artificial insemination in alpacas. more »
  • Persistent Infections After Natural Transmission of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus From Cattle to Goats and Among Goats

    Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an economically important pathogen of cattle worldwide. Infection of a pregnant animal may lead to persistent infection of the foetus and birth of a persistently infected (PI) calf that sheds the virus throughout its life. However, BVD viruses are not strictly species specific. BVDV has been isolated from many domesticated and wild ruminants. This is of practical importance as virus reservoirs in non-bovine hosts may hamper BVDV control in cattle. A goat given as a social companion to a BVDV PI calf gave birth to a PI goat kid. In order to test if goat to goat infections were possible, seronegative pregnant goats were exposed to the PI goat. In parallel, seronegative pregnant goats were kept together with the PI calf. Only the goat to goat transmission resulted in the birth of a next generation of BVDV PI kids whereas all goats kept together with the PI calf aborted. To our knowledge, this is the first report which shows that a PI goat cannot only transmit BVD virus to other goats but that such transmission may indeed lead to the birth of a second generation of PI goats. Genetic analyses indicated that establishment in the new host species may be associated with step-wise adaptations in the viral genome. Thus, goats have the potential to be a reservoir for BVDV. However, the PI goats showed growth retardation and anaemia and their survival under natural conditions remains questionable. more »
  • A Missense Mutation in the Agouti Signaling Protein Gene (ASIP) is Associated with the No Light Points Coat Phenotype in Donkeys

    Seven donkey breeds are recognized by the French studbook and are characterized by a black, bay or grey coat colour including light cream-to-white points (LP). Occasionally, Normand bay donkeys give birth to dark foals that lack LP and display the no light points (NLP) pattern. This pattern is more frequent and officially recognized in American miniature donkeys. The LP (or pangare) phenotype resembles that of the light bellied agouti pattern in mouse, while the NLP pattern resembles that of the mammalian recessive black phenotype; both phenotypes are associated with the agouti signaling protein gene (ASIP). more »
  • A Proof of Concept Study to Assess the Potential of PCR Testing to Detect Natural Mycobacterium bovis Infection in South American Camelids

    Cases of Mycobacterium bovis infection South American camelids have been increasing in Great Britain. Current antemortem immunological tests have some limitations. Cases at post mortem examination frequently show extensive pathology. The feasibility of detecting Mycobacterium bovis DNA in clinical samples was investigated. more »