Semen: bacteriospermia

Vetlexicon Equis ISSN: 2398-2977 Canis logo

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now for a 30 day trial or log in


  • Bacteria found in semen are often contaminants; these must be differentiated from pathogens.
  • Cause : many potential agents, including Taylorella equigenitalis , Streptococcus zooepidemicus , Klebsiella pneumoniae .
  • Signs : subclinical infection unless specific infection of reproductive tract.
  • Diagnosis : microbiologic examination of swabs and ejaculate; identification of site of infection.
  • Treatment : rest from mating, antimicrobials, specific treatments for reproductive tract infections.
  • Prognosis : fair, depending on organism and site of infection.
  • Management : use of semen extender containing antimicrobials.


Differential diagnosis

  • Commensal bacterial contamination of semen.
  • Bacterial infection of urogenital tract:
    • Bacterial urethritis.
    • Bacterial cystitis    .
    • Bacterial orchitis    .
    • Infectious epididymitis.
    • Ampullitis/seminal vesiculitis.
  • Candida infection    .


Clinical signs



  • Fair with appropriate therapy and rest from mating.

Expected response to treatment

  • Microbiologic culture and examination of swabs of the urethra, urethral fossa and prepuce.
  • Examination of semen.

Reasons for treatment failure

  • Inappropriate therapy.
  • Poor owner compliance.
  • Inadequate duration of therapy.
  • Bacterial resistance to antimicrobials.
  • Chronic orchitis    .
Sorry, we couldn't find that content.
Let us know and we'll sort this out.