International boar semen conference includes swine health discussions

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Gary Althouse, DVM, chair of the clinical studies department at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, recently returned from Bonn, Germany.

He was invited to speak at the 7th International Conference on Boar Semen Preservation, which is held every four years. Althouse talked about Infectious diseases and AI: Protection strategies for worldwide semen trade. He offered a global perspective of those infectious diseases which can be transmitted through boar semen, and could interrupt the global trade of genetic material.

Artificial insemination has been widely adopted across the globe to assist swine reproduction. Diligent management is important to minimize shipped boar semen’s role in transmitting infectious disease.

“Dr. Althouse gave an interesting update on microbial diseases that pose risks for transfer in semen,” says to Robert Knox, associate animal science professor at University of Illinois. “This has relevance for the shipment of genetic material in liquid or frozen forms. Dr. Althouse’s report covered locations throughout the globe where certain viruses and bacterial problems exist in high frequencies.”

Althouse’s clinical expertise is in the areas of andrology, comparative theriogenology and swine production medicine. He co-authored a paper on the subject of infectious diseases and artificial insemination of swine, which was recently published in Reproduction in Domestic Animals.

The conference offered participants the opportunity to exchange the latest information influencing the productivity and fertility of the working boar. About 260 scientists and practitioners from around the world participated in the event. While at the conference Althouse also was elected to the International Organizational Committee effective immediately.

Source: University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine


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