Double-blind prospective study comparing two automated sperm analyzers versus manual semen assessment.
J. Lammers - C. Splingart - P. Barrière - M. Jean - T. Fréour
Purpose Despite controversy regarding its clinical value, male fertility investigation mainly relies on semen analysis. Even though reference guidelines are available, manual sperm analysis still suffers from analytical variability, thus questioning the interest of automated sperm analysis systems. The aim of this study is to compared automated computerized semen analysis systems (SQA-V GOLD and CASA CEROS) to the conventional manual method in terms of accuracy and precision. Methods We included 250 men in this double-blind prospective study. The SQA-V GOLD (Medical Electronic Systems) and CEROS, CASA system (Hamilton Thorne) were compared to the standard manual assessment based on the WHO 5th Edition. The main outcome measures were sperm concentration, total sperm number, total motility, progressive motility, non-progressive motility, morphology, motile sperm concentration (MSC) and progressively motile sperm concentration (PMSC) with the three methods. Results Statistical analysis of the test results from the automated systems and the manual method demonstrated no significant differences for most of the semen parameters. The Spearman coefficients of rank correlation (rho) for CASA and the SQA-V GOLD automated systems vs. the manual method were: Sperm concentration (0.95 and 0.95), total sperm number (0.95 and 0.95), MSC (0.94 and 0.96) and PMSC (0.94 and 0.93) correspondingly. Concerning sperm morphology, both automated systems demonstrated high specificity (Sp) and negative predictive values (NPV), despite significantly different medians (CASA: 83.7% for Sp and 95.2% for NPV, SQA-V: 97.9 % for Sp and 92.5 %). The highest precision (lowest 95 % confidence interval for duplicate tests) for all semen variables was found in the SQA-V GOLD. Conclusions The advantages of using automated semen analysers are: Standardization, speed (lower turnaround time), precision, reduced potential for human error, automated data recording and less need for highly skilled professionals to run the systems. The disadvantages of using automated systems are: notably the problem with testing some atypical samples and the inability to perform an assessment of morphology abnormalities. Based on the results of this study, the SQA-V Gold demonstrated better agreement vs. the manual method. In conclusion, automated semen analyzers can be used for routine semen analysis providing rapid clinically acceptable results with higher precision, and positively impacting laboratory standardization.
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Keywords Male infertility . Semen analysis . SQA-V GOLD . CASA . WHO 5th manual for sperm analysis
Advanced Agricultural Technologies is thrilled to be attending this years AAEP convention in Nashville! We will be showcasing our all new QwikCheck™ Gold Automated Sperm Quality Analyzer for Horses. We will be giving away t-shirts at the booth and offering a free 100 test kit of supplies with any purchase as a trade show special! Come by to say hello, check out our system and pick up a free tee. A-Tech will be in booth 1107.
The QwikCheck™ Gold Equine automated semen analyzer is designed specifically for breeders that want fast and accurate semen analysis for dosing (Raw mode) and quality control (Cooled and Extended modes). The system delivers precise and objective result within minutes, is easy to use by simply following screen menus, and is economical. - Remember, it All Started with a Sperm!
I am writing this letter to recommend the QwikCheck™ GOLD EQUINE semen analyzer produced by A-TECH (the veterinary division of Medical Electronic Systems). Ariella Arabians and A-Tech worked in partnership to develop the QwikCheck™ GOLD analyzer in 2012. We ran the alpha site testing right before the 2013 season and assisted in providing semen samples for the development of the algorithm. Based on the successful product development, the analyzer was used to test and provide cooled semen doses to our customers in the 2013 season.
I personally use the analyzer and find that it provides accurate and precise results. It reports sperm concentration, % motility, % progressive motility, % normal morphology, velocity and the number of sperm, progressive sperm and motile sperm per sample volume. We have used it extensively for setting up doses and found that, through the use of the system, we have been more efficient in the distribution and QC of cooled semen shipments. In addition, the label with the test results is effectively used to document the quality of the sample for our clients who can see it when they receive semen from us.
The QwikCheck™ GOLD Equine analyzer is easy to use. The screen flow is based on the input from the alpha trial conducted at Ariella Arabians and makes it very ‘user friendly’ from the field perspective. The screens lead you through every step of testing, dosing and quality control (testing Cooled and Extended samples).
A-TECH and Medical Electronic Systems are a professional, responsive and reliable company and we have an excellent and ongoing relationship with them. Please see the Ariella Arabian website at www.ariela-arabians.co.il where A-TECH is listed as one of our ‘friends’. We also have a featured article in the ‘news’ section of our website about our participation in the alpha site.
I highly recommend this product (and have told colleagues about it already). It removes ‘estimating’ from the dosing process. Today our standard is based on the number of Progressively Motile Sperm per dose. We can now confidently guarantee our clients an objective assessment of the semen quality that we ship to them. The instrument is also an effective means of monitoring the semen quantity and quality of our stallions. The raw semen test report is very detailed and allows us to learn about the stallion’s current repro status in less than two minutes.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the QwikCheck™Gold Equine semen analyzer.
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1. Testing raw semen, while performing a BSE on a stallion it provides me with a complete, detailed report of the semen results in a very short time.
2. Testing raw semen and processing it for dose preparation, cooled or frozen.
3. Testing extended semen before shipping in order to make sure the doses we produce have acceptable motility.
4. Testing cooled semen for longevity. The QwickCheck™ Gold Equine allows us to compare different protocols/extenders for maximal semen Progressive Motility% and Velocity in an objective way.
5. It is extremely useful when dealing with stallions which are not the best “shippers”.
6. Testing cooled semen shipped from other clinics/breeders to our clinic, before we inseminate it.
We find the analyzer easy and simple enough to be used by our technician when we are not available. By following the analyzers on-screen instructions for dose preparation (based on the clinic settings which the unit “remembers”), our technician can produce sperm doses with a constant number of Progressively Motile sperm/dose.
Medisoos Equine Clinic
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Join Medical Electronic Systems at this year's AACC / ASCLS meeting in Houston, TX (George R. Brown Convention Center). Come by the booth to check out our new WHO 5th Edition Software package, meet our technical service reps, and pick up a free T-Shirt! We hope to see you there and Remember, it ALL Started with a Sperm!
Arabians Ltd. Veterinary Technician Jenna Johnson and Breeding Manager Stephane Robillard
FROM ARABIANS Ltd (www.www.arabiansltd.com):
Arabians Ltd. is excited to have been chosen to be a beta test site for a new equine semen analyzer not yet available on the market, the QwikCheck Gold™ Sperm Analyzer. We are the only site in Texas and one of only 4 places in the country chosen for this honor by the global company Medical Electronic Systems (MES).
One of the other 3 US beta test sites is our affiliate farm, Amethyst Acres in Virginia! It’s great to be able to compare notes in regards to sample quality from our production center with a receiving farm at 24 and 48 hours. Amethyst’s breeding expert Mark Burke provides us valuable information, including how well the semen traveled across the country.
Breeding Manager Stephane Robillard and Veterinary Technician Jenna Johnson have already put the machine to work in this busy breeding season.
MES’ A-Tech (agricultural) division has created this analyzer, which offers us many advances in our Breeding Division. It enables us to provide better-than-ever semen quality for our clients with exact dosage, which we simply could not provide in the past without such technology. It eliminates all guess work and provides us with two values we did not have before, morphology and velocity.
Specifically, the analyzer offers us:
1. Total motility in percentage (how many sperm cells are moving vs not moving), which could only be estimated by an educated guess before.
2. Progressive motility in percentage (of all the cells that are moving, which are swimming in a straight line), which could only be estimated by an educated guess before.
3. Concentration test (how many sperm cell in a milliliter of semen)
4. Volume of semen calculation (how many millileters of semen are needed to achieve a conception based on the pre-determined requirements)
5. Dosage of semen and extender calculation (how much is needed for shipping and insemination dose based on current analysis)
6. Velocity (how vigorous and at what speed are the cells swimming)
7. Morphology (what percentage of sperm cells are normal/complete and capable of fertilizing the ovum)
MES’ Eric Carver with Arabians Ltd. Veterinary Technician Jenna Johnson and Breeding Manager Stephane Robillard.
Thank you to MES’ Gabe Deutsch and Eric Carver for their assistance, and to Eric for spending a day in our lab, training us on the new equipment. We are excited about the opportunity to continue to provide great service to our Breeding Division clients! It is so gratifying to see the foals that result from this work.
For more information on Arabian's Ltd. please visit their website:
From the Horses Mouth - Amethyst Acres (www.amethystacres.com)
We are delighted to have been chosen by Medical Electronic Systems/A-Tech as a United States Beta Trial site for their new QwikCheck™ Gold equine semen analyzer. The instrument delivers sperm concentration, motility, progressive motility and more with the highest levels of precision and accuracy in the industry in about 2 minutes. We also enjoyed the training session conducted by Dr. Uri Shalit of Israel and Jamil Patiag of California, two members of the design team. Contact us if you are interested in a demonstration or would like to have your stallion tested.
April 26th, 2013
To Whom It May Concern:
We have found the SQA-V to be very reliable and user friendly. The department has not experienced any downtime since installation and it is very cost effective. The SQA-V performs a quick 70 second semen analysis and generates a very nice formatted report.
Having the automation of the SQA-V greatly reduces human errors, which is more likely to happen performing the manual method. We have found that automation provides standardization, accuracy, and repeatability in our testing. The SQA-V has proven to be beneficial and a great asset to our laboratory. I highly recommend this instrument and feel it would be profitable to any laboratory that performs semen analysis.