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Collection of preputial material by scraping and aspiration for the diagnosis of Tritrichomonas foetus in bulls

P.C. Irons, M.M. Henton, H.J. Bertschinger

Journal of the South African Veterinary Association; Vol 73, No 2 (2002), 66-69. doi: 10.4102/jsava.v73i2.558

Submitted: 06 July 2002
Published:  06 July 2002


Two trials were carried out to assess the diagnostic sensitivity and practicability of preputial scraping as a method of collecting preputial material from bulls infected with Tritrichomonas foetus. In the 1st trial, preputial material was collected by simultaneous scraping and aspiration from 3 infected and 1 uninfected bull 10 times over a 5-week period. In the 2nd trial, samples from 5 infected bulls were collected by both sheath washing and scraping on 6 occasions, while 8 uninfected animals were sampled 3 times. Samples were cultured using a modified Trichomonas culture medium (Oxoid). In the first trial, 29 of 30 samples from infected bulls were found to be positive. In the second trial, 83 % of samples collected by both methods tested positive. In neither trial were any samples from the control bulls found to be positive. Scraping was found to be quick and safe, and offered advantages over preputial washing in that urine contamination was easily avoided, samples were smaller and more concentrated and contamination was reduced. It may, however, be subject to greater operator variability than sheath washing. It is concluded that preputial scraping is as effective as washing and represents a suitable alternative for the collection of material for direct examination and culture of Tritrichomonas foetus.

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Author affiliations

P.C. Irons,
M.M. Henton,
H.J. Bertschinger,


Bull; Diagnosis; Preputial Scraping; Preputial Wash; Tritrichomonas Foetus; Venereal Disease


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ISSN: 1019-9128 (print) | ISSN: 2224-9435 (online)

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