Viral contamination of embryos cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen

A BielanskiC Lutze-Wallace


Despite the worldwide application of embryo-freezing technology as the means of preserving germplasm of mammalian species, there is no information available on the possible transmission of infectious agents to cryopreserved embryos via contaminated liquid nitrogen (LN). Recently, it has been reported that new methods of cryopreservation which employ ultrarapid freezing or vitrification require direct contact between the freezing medium containing oocytes or embryos and liquid phase nitrogen (LPN). As models for human and animal viral pathogens three bovine viruses, bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV), and bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV), were employed to study the potential for their transmission by experimentally contaminated LN to embryos frozen and stored in open freezing containers. Bovine embryos in a mixture of 20% ethylene glycol, 20% ME(2)SO, and 0.6% sucrose were vitrified in either unsealed standard 0.25 ml or modified open pulled straws or in plastic cryovials and then plunged into contaminated LPN. After 3-5 weeks of storage in LN, embryos were thawed and sequentially washed and only those with intact ZP were pooled together and tested in batches of three for viral contamination. From ...Continue Reading


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