Detection of cervical bacterial contamination in swine by two methods of swabbing in relation to artificial insemination

Hélène Carabin, Guy Pierre Martineau, Denis Vaillancourt, Robert Higgins, Michel Bigras-Poulin

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3 Scopus citations


Factors associated with uterine contamination during artificial insemination (AI) are not well defined. A frequently imputed risk factor is vulvar hygiene, although its role has never been assessed objectively. The aim of this study was to identify an objective marker of hygiene during AI and to assess the impact of vulvar hygiene on cervical contamination. In a herd in a depopulation-repopulation process, 68 paired sows of each parity were divided into 2 treatment groups. Before 2 sham AIs, with a 24 hour interval, control sows (CTR) had their vulva cleaned and treatment sows (TRT) had theirs soiled with feces. After the 2nd sham AI, swabbings were taken from the spirette and from the cervix. Bacterial growth was assessed by a semiquantitative method, and aerobic bacterial species identified. The discordance between the paired data was assessed by a McNemar chi-square test. No difference in gram-positive bacterial counts between the 2 groups was found using the cervical swab (P > 0.05). The presence of trace colonies of Escherichia coli were, however, more frequent in TRT (P < 0.05). The spirette showed a greater contamination for mixed flora of bacterial species such as E. coli (P < 0.001) and non-S. suis streptococci (P < 0.05) in TRT sows. A light cervical E. coli growth was more frequent when the vulva had been soiled. Bacterial flora on the spirette following AI may be used as an objective and practical indicator of vulvar hygiene during AI in sows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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