Gary Althouse, DVM, professor and chair of Department of Clinical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, recently returned from Bonn, Germany, where he was invited to speak at the 7th International Conference on Boar Semen Preservation, which is held every four years.

Althouse’s talk was entitled, “Infectious Diseases and AI:Protection Strategies for Worldwide Semen Trade.” He offered a global perspective of those infectious diseases which can be transmitted through boar semen, and could interrupt the global trade of genetic material.

Artificial insemination (AI) is widely used to assist in swine reproduction. Diligent management is important in the minimization of shipped boar semen playing a role in the transmission of infectious disease.

“Dr. Althouse gave an interesting update on microbial diseases that pose risks for transfer in semen,” according to Robert Knox, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois. “This has relevance for the shipment of genetic material in liquid or frozen forms. Dr. Althouse’s report covered locations throughout the globe where certain viruses and bacterial problems exist in high frequencies.”

Althouse’s clinical expertise is in the areas of andrology, comparative theriogenology and swine production medicine. He co-authored a paper on the subject of infectious diseases and artificial insemination of swine, which was recently published in Reproduction in Domestic Animals.

The conference offered participants the opportunity to exchange the latest information influencing the productivity and fertility of the working boar. About 260 scientists and practitioners from around the world participated in the event.

While at the conference, Althouse was also elected to the International Organizational Committee effective immediately.