T-mycoplasmas were isolated from the semen of 23 of 28 bulls at an A.I. Centre, and from the semen of each of 4 bulls on separate farms. Washings from the preputial cavities of 10 bulls each contained at least 10 organisms per ml. In all, T-mycoplasmas were isolated from either semen or the preputial cavities of 28 of 34 bulls examined. Although the organisms were isolated from semen, they were not isolated from testicular tissue, the vas deferens or the mucosal scrapings of the urethra of 2 slaughtered bulls. It seems that the mycoplasmas are confined to the preputial cavity and gain access to semen during ejaculation. It is suggested that the failure of the organisms to become established in other areas of the genital tract is due to the presence of a potent mycoplasma inhibitor that was detected in bull semen in this study. A similar inhibitor was found in bull serum. It is thermostable at 56°C and nondialysable. The ecology and pathological role of the T-mycoplasmas in cattle are discussed in relation to the findings in man.


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