Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

The effect of adjusting settings within a Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA) system on bovine sperm motility and morphology results

Ciara O’Meara; Emilie Henrotte; Kasia Kupisiewicz; Catherine Latour; Marleen Broekhuijse; Agnes Camus; Lucie Gavin-Plagne; Eli Sellem

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Semen motility is the most widely recognized semen quality parameter used by Artificial Insemination (AI) centers. With the increasing worldwide export of semen between AI centers there is an increasing need for standardized motility assessment methods. Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA) technology is thought to provide an objective motility evaluation; however, results can still vary between laboratories. The aim of present study was to verify the impact of different setting values of the CASA IVOS II on motility, concentration, and morphology of bovine semen samples frozen in an extender with or without egg yolk and then decide on optimal settings for a further validation step across AI centers. Semen straws from 30 different bulls were analyzed using IVOS II with twelve modified settings. No significant changes were observed in semen concentration, percentage of motile sperm or kinetic results for either extender type. However, increasing settings for both STR and VAP progressive (%) from Low, Medium, and High cut-off values significantly (p<0.05) reduced the percentage of detected progressive spermatozoa, in egg yolk extender from 49.5±15.2, 37.2±11.9 to 11.9±5.3%, and in clear extender from 51.9±9.1, 35.8±7.3 to 10.0±2.4%, respectively. In clear extender only, the modification of droplet proximal head length significantly affected the detection of normal sperm percentages (88.0± 4.7 to 95.0±0.6 and 96.0±0.6%) and of the percentage of detected proximal droplets (12.2±4.7, 2.5±2.7 to 0.6±0.2%) for Low, Medium and High values respectively (p<0.05). The identification of sensitivity within the CASA system to changes in set parameters then led to the determination of an optimal IVOS II setting. The existing variability among centers for these phenotypes was reduced when the standardized settings were applied across different CASA units. The results clearly show the importance of applied settings for the final CASA results and emphasize the need for standardized settings to obtain comparable data.


bovine semen, sperm functionality, settings standardization


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