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  • Author or Editor: Barry A. Ball x
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Objective—To characterize the activity of catalase in equine semen.

Animals—15 stallions of known and unknown reproductive history.

Procedure—Seminal plasma was collected from raw equine semen by centrifugation, and samples of seminal plasma were frozen prior to assay for catalase activity. Tissue samples (n = 3 stallions) from the bulbourethral gland, prostate gland, vesicular gland, and testis were homogenized, and cauda epididymal fluid was collected for determination of catalase activity. Catalase activity was determined as an enzyme kinetic assay by the disappearance of H2O2 as measured by ultraviolet spectrophotometry.

Results—Catalase activity in equine seminal plasma was 989.3 ± 167.8 U/ml (mean ± SEM), and the specific activity of catalase in equine seminal plasma was 98.7 ± 29.2 U/mg of protein. Specific activity of catalase in tissue homogenates was significantly higher in the prostate gland (954 ± 270 U/mg of protein) than in the ampulla (59 ± 5 U/mg of protein), bulbourethral gland (54 ± 11 U/mg of protein), vesicular gland (39 ± 3 U/mg of protein), cauda epididymal fluid (11 ± 3 U/mg protein), or testis (54 ± 6 U/mg of protein).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Equine seminal plasma contains a high activity of catalase that is derived primarily from prostatic secretions. Procedures such as semen cryopreservation that remove most seminal plasma from semen may reduce the ability to scavenge H2O2 and thereby increase the susceptibility of spermatozoa to oxidative stress. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1026–1030)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the incidence of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection among Thoroughbreds residing on a farm on which the virus was known to be endemic.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—10 nonpregnant mares, 8 stallions, 16 weanlings, 11 racehorses, and 30 pregnant mares and their foals born during the 2006 foaling season.

Procedures—Blood and nasopharygeal swab samples were collected every 3 to 5 weeks for 9 months, and placenta and colostrum samples were collected at foaling. All samples were submitted for testing for EHV-1 DNA with a PCR assay. A type-specific EHV-1 ELISA was used to determine antibody titers in mares and foals at birth, 12 to 24 hours after birth, and every 3 to 5 weeks thereafter.

Results—Results of the PCR assay were positive for only 4 of the 1,330 samples collected (590 blood samples, 590 nasopharyngeal swab samples, 30 placentas, and 30 colostrum samples), with EHV-1 DNA detected in nasal secretions from 3 horses (pregnant mare, stallion, and racehorse) and in the placenta from 1 mare. Seroconversion was detected in 3 of 27 foals during the first month of life.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that there was a low prevalence of EHV-1 infection among this population of Thoroughbreds even though the virus was known to be endemic on the farm and that pregnant mares could become infected without aborting. Analysis of nasopharyngeal swab samples appeared to be more sensitive than analysis of blood samples for detection of EHV-1 DNA.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association