Acta Vet. Brno 2021, 90: 263-270

The frequency of morphological defects of epididymal sperm in exotic animal species of the family Bovidae kept in the Czech Republic

Jaroslav Šípek, Věra Kopecká, Petra Přinosilová, Jiří Rubeš

Central European Institute of Technology-Veterinary Research Institute, Department of Genetics and Reproductive Biotechnologies, Brno, Czech Republic

Received December 8, 2020
Accepted August 31, 2021

Epididymal sperm morphology was evaluated by strict criteria using the DeSMA software. A total of 134 animals from the Dvůr Králové ZOO were included in the study. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of morphological defects of epididymal sperm in animals of the family Bovidae in species that are not native to the Czech Republic and are bred here only in zoos. Our results showed that the frequency of abnormalities was higher in exotic species of the Bovidae family compared to domestic species. Furthermore, the acquired defects prevailed over developmental abnormalities. Cytoplasmic droplets are a characteristic feature of epididymal sperm. Their average prevalence in the whole Bovidae family is almost 30%. However, distal droplets are not considered to be sperm pathology and, therefore, they are not the most frequent defect. The most common abnormalities are acquired head defects, followed by acquired tail defects, and then by acquired neck defects, mainly represented by proximal cytoplasmic droplets. The lowest prevalence was found for developmental abnormalities, with heads being more often affected than tails. The remaining defects were sporadic.


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under the project CEITEC 2020 (LQ1601).


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