Evolution of equine Assisted Reproduction in the United States
Patrick M. McCue
DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACT Equine Reproduction Laboratory Colorado State University
The evolution of reproduction biotechnologies is dictated by the scientific development, the demands of the equine industry and the regulation of breeding associations.
Equine embryo transfer initial research started in 70’s, oocyte transfer in the 80’s and Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in 90’s. All these techniques only started to be available in clinical practice 10 years later of when they first started. They are great tools as possible solutions for fertility problems mainly in mares but in the case of iCSI also for fertility problems in stallions since only one sperm is needed for fertilization.
Aspiration of follicles have produced a wide range of results depending on the technique, expertise of the working team and specially with every individual mare subject to the procedure.
Aspiration can be performed on mature or immature follicle. To retrieve mature oocytes, a close ultrasound follow up of the cyclic mare is needed to determine the best moment for induction of ovulation and retrieval of the oocyte before it ovulates. Aspiration of immature oocytes has the advantage of no need of close monitoring sessions for the mare and more convenient times for the oocyte harvesting, culture, and ICSI procedures.
To our knowledge In the US only three clinics are able to do ICSI: Texas A&M, Colorado State University and Dr. Rob Foss in Columbia, Missouri. Oocytes aspirated at other locations are all shipped to one of these clinics for the ICSI procedure.
“Creation of a complete and successful ICSI laboratory program is an elusive goal that has escaped many” -- Dr. Rob Foss, Columbia,Missouri.
Written by: Daniel Jou