Document Type : Original Article
Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.
Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.
Department of Surgery and Diagnostic Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.
Babesias as the second common blood parasite in mammals after trypanosomes have aroused wide concern particularly due to having zoonotic potential. This study was implemented to scrutinize epididymal sperms characteristics and in vitro fertilizing (IVF) capacity as well as subsequent pre-implantation embryos developmental potential following experimental babesiosis (EB) induction by Babesia bigemina in mice. In this experimental study, twenty-four adult male mice were randomly categorized into four equal groups including untreated control, sham, splenectomy, and EB. Experimental babesiosis was induced in splenectomized mice through 2 ml intraperitoneal injection of an infected heparinized blood sample belonging to a cow with confirmed B. bigemina infection. All animals were euthanized after 5 days and epididymal sperms characteristics and IVF abilities along with early embryo development were analyzed following infection confirmation. Experimental babesiosis resulted in epididymal sperms quantity, quality, and IVF potential reduction as well as pre-implantation embryos developmental retardation compared to control, sham, and splenectomy groups. These findings revealed that B. bigemina infection can result in male subfertility and/or infertility in mice leading to pre-implantation embryos developmental arrest.
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