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Isolation of Actinobacillus seminis from rams in the United Kingdom
  1. PJ Heath,
  2. IH Davies,
  3. JH Morgan and
  4. IA Aitken
  1. Veterinary Investigation Centre, Cambridge.


Actinobacillus seminis was isolated from the semen of five rams on four farms. Four of the rams had abnormal semen and three were also infertile. The isolates of A seminis showed similar phenotypic profiles and electrophoretic protein patterns to the type strain of A seminis but were distinct from Histophilus ovis previously isolated from rams with epididymitis in Scotland. The infection appeared to be subclinical but two of the five rams had palpable abnormalities of their testes. Three rams were treated with antibiotics but the infection persisted. No gross lesions were found in the genitalia of two of three rams examined post mortem but one had necrotic abscesses in the testes and epididymis. A seminis was isolated from the seminal vesicles and epididymis of one ram without gross lesions but not from the genitalia of the other two. On one farm the infection in a recently purchased ram led to the detection of another case as a result of the bacteriological screening of 11 stock rams not in contact with the initial case. These five subclinical cases, which included a supposedly healthy stock ram, suggest that A seminis infection may be widespread and should be considered in cases of infertility.

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