Sustainable Beef Systems Research Group
Research Areas and Associated Publications
My research in the importance of bovine sperm morphological abnormalities (first publication 1986) and the pathogenesis of abnormal bovine spermatogenesis lead to the publication of a book and a manual that are currently widely used in North America, South America, Australia and other parts of the world. In the past 5 years I've collaborated with veterinary scientists in Argentina, India and Australia in developing their bull breeding soundness evaluation manuals. In addition, I've contributed book chapters on bull breeding soundness for a major North American text book for veterinary schools and a chapter for a Theriogenology textbook that is being assembled in South America.
- Barth, A.D. and Oko, R.J., 1989. Abnormal Morphology of Bovine Spermatozoa. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 285 pages.
- Barth, A.D., 2000. Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluation Manual, 2nd Edition, The Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners, 75 pages.
- Barth, A.D.2007. Evaluation of Potential Breeding Soundness, in Younquist, R.S., (ed.), Current Therapy in Large Animal Theriogenology).
I have had major involvement in research on induction of parturition and abortion in cattle in collaboration with others at the WCVM. These procedures are now in every-day-use in veterinary practice throughout North America and many other parts of the world. I've contributed to numerous articles and book chapters on these subjects and I am currently reviewing our work and the work of others for a Theriogenology textbook that is being assembled in South America.
- Barth, A.D., Adams, W.M., Manns, J.G., Kennedy, K.D., Sydenham, R.G. and Mapletoft, R.J., 1981. Induction of Abortion on Feedlot Heifers with a Combination of Cloprostenol and Dexamethasone. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 22, 62-64.
- Bo, G.A., Fernandez, M., Barth, A.D. and Mapletoft, R.J., 1992. Reduced Incidence of Retained Placenta with Induction of Parturition in the Cow. Theriogenology, 38, 45-62.
- Nasser, L.F., Bo, G.A., Barth, A.D. and Mapletoft, R.J., 1994. Induction of Parturition in Cattle; Effect of Triamcinolone Pretreatment on the Incidence of Retained Placenta. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 35, 491-496.
Approximately 1 in 5 bulls is not satisfactory for use in breeding. The use of highly fertile bulls is an integral part of efficient beef herd management and profitable beef production. There are >4.5 million beef cows on >100,000 farms in Canada and beef production contributes over 25 billion annually to Canada's economy. In addition there are >1.1 million dairy cows on >18,500 dairy farms with net farm cash receipts totaling 4.2 billion in 2002. Cows that do not become pregnant represent a potential loss of about $600 per calf not weaned the following year in beef herds and insidious losses caused by lighter weaning weights due to delayed pregnancies often are even greater. Strung out calf crops increase expense and frustration down the entire management chain of cattle production by affecting the amount of time and effort of calving assistance, calf processing procedures, nutrition of pregnant and lactating cows, vaccination of prebreeding cows, calf weaning and post weaning management. Bull breeding soundness evaluation is of utmost importance in maintaining the viability and vitality of the Canadian cattle industries. A great deal of expertise and knowledge is required by veterinarians involved in bull fertility evaluation. A large portion of my research effort has been directed toward gaining a better understanding of factors affecting bull breeding soundness and fertility of frozen semen.
- Bagu, E.T., T. Epp, K.L. Davies, A.A. Arteaga, D.M. Barrett, A.D. Barth, N.C. Rawlings. 2010. The effect of parity of the dam on sexual maturation serum concentrations of metabolic hormones and the response to Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) in bull calves. Anim Reprod Sci 45(5):803-810.
- Barth, A.D., L.F.C. Brito, J.P. Kastelic. 2008. The effect of nutrition on sexual development of bulls. Theriogenology. 70:485-494.
- Barth, A.D., L. Alisio, M. Aviles, A.A. Arteaga, J.R. Campbell, S.H. Hendrick. 2008. Fibrotic lesions in the testis of bulls and relationship to semen quality. Anim Reprod Sci.106(3-4) 274-288.
- Rovay, H., A.D. Barth, M. Chirino-Trejo, M.R. Martinez. 2008. Update on treatment of vesiculitis in bulls. Theriogenology. 70:495-503.
- Brito, L.F.C., A.D. Barth, N.C. Rawlings, R.E. Wilde, D.H. Crews, P. Mir, J.P. Kastelic. 2007. Effect of Nutrition during Calfhood and Peripubertal Period on Serum Metabolic Hormones, Gonadotropins and Testosterone Concentrations, and on Sexual Development in Bulls. Domestic Animal Endocrinology. 33:1-18.
- Barth, A.D. and Waldner, C.L., 2002. Factors
Affecting Breeding Soundness Classification of Beef Bulls in Saskatchewan.
Canadian Veterinary Journal, 43, 274-284.
- Arteaga, A.A., Baracaldo, M. and Barth, A.D., 2001. The Proportion of Western Canadian Beef Bulls with Mature Spermiograms at 11 to 15 Months of Age. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 42, 783-787
- Barth, A.D. and Ominski, K.H., 2000. The Relationship Between Scrotal Circumference at Weaning and at One Year of Age in Beef Bulls. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 41, 1-6.
Electroejaculation for semen collection is an essential component of fertility evaluation in range bulls. In many European countries, animal rights activists have succeeded in persuading governments to pass legislation making this method of semen collection illegal. In Canada and the USA there is a great deal of concern that similar events may evolve here. Loss of the ability to evaluate bull fertility due to a ban on electroejaculation would adversely effect the economy of rural communities. We have pioneered new methods of reducing pain of electroejaculation in bulls as well developed new alternative methods of semen collection in range bulls.
- Barth AD, Arteaga AA, Brito FC, Palmer CW. Use of internal artificial vaginas for breeding soundness evaluation in range bulls: an alternative for electroejaculation allowing observation of sex drive and mating ability. Animal Reproduction Science (accepted)
- Etson, C.J., Waldner, C.L., and Barth, A.D., 2004. Evaluation
of a Segmented Rectal Probe and Caudal Epidural Anesthesia for Electroejaculation
of Bulls. Can Vet J 45: 235-240.
- Palmer, C.W., Amundson, S.D., Brito L.F.C., Waldner C.L., and Barth, A.D., 2004. Use of oxytocin and cloprostenol to facilitate semen collection by electroejaculation or transrectal massage in bulls. Animal Reproduction Science 80: 213-223.
- Falk, A.J., Waldner, C.L., Cotter, B.S., Gudmundson, J. and Barth, A.D., 2001. Effects of Lidocaine Anesthesia on Bulls during Electroejaculation. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 42, 116-120.
Semen quality analysis is essential to both the beef industry, which uses primarily natural mating at pasture, and the dairy industry, which primarily uses artificial insemination. Abnormal sperm morphology, and other sperm attributes have been a main focus of study as spermatozoa are central to the determination the potential fertility of semen. I have provided a diagnostic spermatology service for AI centers in all of Canada and for veterinarians and producers in western Canada for almost 25 years. This service has provided a great deal of raw material for research in sperm traits important to fertility.
- Brito, L.F.C., Barth, A.D., Bilodeau-Goeseels, S., Panich, P.L. and JP Kastelic,
of Methods to Evaluate the Plasmalemma of Bovine Sperm and their Relationship
with In Vitro Fertilization Rate. Theriogenology 60: 1539-1551
- Palmer, C.W. and Barth, A.D., 2003. Comparison of the BullmateTM Sperm Quality Analyzer with Conventional Means of Assessing the Semen Quality and Breeding Soundness of Beef Bulls. Animal Reproduction Science 77: 173-185.
- Thundathil, J., Palasz, A.T., Barth, A.D. and Mapletoft, R.J., 2002. Plasma
Membrane and Acrosome Integrity of Bovine Sperm with the Knobbed Acrosome
Defect. Theriogenology, 58, 87-102.
- Thundathil, J., Palasz, A.T., Barth, A.D. and Mapletoft, R.J., 2001. The Use of In Vitro Fertilization Techniques to Investigate the Fertilizing Ability of Bovine Sperm with Proximal Cytoplasmic Droplets. Animal Reproduction Science, 65, 181-192.
- Meyer, R.A. and Barth, A.D., 2001. Effect of Acrosomal Defects on Fertility of Bulls Used in Artificial Insemination and Natural Breeding. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 40, 627-634.
- Thundathil, J., Palomino, J., Barth, A.D., Mapletoft, R.J. and Barros, C., 2001. Fertilizing Characteristics of Bovine Sperm with Flattened and Indented Acrosomes. Animal Reproduction Science, 67, 231-243.
- Thundathil, J., Meyer, R., Palasz, A.T., Barth, A.D. and Mapletoft, R.J., 2000. The Effect of Knobbed Acrosome Defect in Bovine Sperm on IVF and Embryo Production. Theriogenology, 54, 921-934.
Most recently I have concentrated my research efforts in 3 areas important to bull fertility: The prevalence and importance of testis fibrosis in young bulls, new approaches to the control and treatment of vesicular adenitis and the effect of calf hood nutrition on age of maturity in bulls. Six manuscripts are either in stages of preparation.
Dissemination of new information is an important art of research. In this regard, I've regularly published in farm magazines, spoken to producer groups, and to veterinarians at conferences and continuing education workshops.
- Barth, A.D. 2010. 1. Pubertal development in bulls - preparing for a lifetime. 2. Semen collection methods for beef bulls; electroejaculation, massage, conventional AVs and Internal AVs. 3. The pathogenesis of abnormal sperm production. 4. Testicular fibrosis; prevalence and possible causes. 5. Case Discussion. Bull Management and Fertility Conference, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
- Barth, A.D. 2009. 1. A review of the reproductive physiology of bulls. 2. Case studies in spermatology. 3. Management and evaluation of bulls from birth to the breeding season. 4. Beyond the microscope. New semen technologies. South African veterinary Semen and Embryo Group Annual Meeting. Mossel Bay, South Africa.
- Barth, A.D. 2009. SVMA Continuing Education Series: Factors affecting pubertal development of bulls. Weyburn, SK.
- Barth, A.D. 2009. SVMA Continuing Education Series: Case-based Studies of Abnormal Spermiograms. Saskatoon, SK.
- Barth, A.D. 2008. 1. Factors affecting pubertal development in Bos tauras bulls. 2. Seminal Vesiculitis: Update on treatment. Society for Theriogenology Ann Conf., St. Louis.
- Barth, A.D. 2007. 1. Pubertal development of Bos taurus beef bulls. 2. Pathogenesis of abnormal sperm morphology. 3. Frozen semen analysis in veterinary practice. 4. Interpretation of the boinve spermiogram. 5. Practical laboratory in semen collection and analysis. Key Note Speaker: Australian Reproductive Veterinarians Conference, Coff's Harbour.
- Barth, A.D. 2003. Comprendre les taureaux dčun an. Charo letter. 7 (2) :18-19. December. Charolias Association du Quebec
- Barth, A.D., 2002. The Effect of Season on Bull Fertility. Canadian Cattlemen,
- Barth, A.D., 2001. Factors Affecting Pubertal Development in Bulls. Simmental Country,
- Barth, A.D., 2001. Effect of Daylight Hours and Other Factors on Bull Fertility. Farm and Food Report,
- Barth, A.D., 2001. Evaluation of Sperm Motility in Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluations. Society for Theriogenology, July Newsletter pp 4-5.
- Cunningham, G. and Barth, A.D., 2001. Selecting Bulls That Work. Simmental Country,
Barth's Department Webpage
This webpage was last updated on November 28, 2011. The linked pages in this
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