Tetracycline reduces sperm viability

Marshal Hedin [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

Despite widespread bacterial resistance, the broad-spectrum antibiotic tetracycline is still commonly used in animal feed and as antimicrobial therapy in the developing world. Tetracycline inhibits mitochondrial translation, and because mitochondria are essential to the processes of spermatogenesis and sperm motility, male reproductive traits may be especially sensitive to its effects. Jeanne A. Zeh and colleagues (University of Nevada, Reno) evaluated the effects of tetracycline exposure on body size and reproductive function in the pseudoscorpion (Cordylochernes scorpiodes). Pseudoscorpions have external spermatophore deposition and external brood sacs for developing embryos, allowing for convenient, non-invasive sperm collection and monitoring of female reproductive status and embryological development.

Lab Anim. (NY) 41, 140 (2012).
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