The interrelationship between the various bacteria isolated from the genital tract of rams and their host animals was studied. The pathogenicity of the different isolates varied. Several of these bacteria could be cultured in a medium consisting of a suspension of pen floor debris solidified with agar, while many organisms survived in the suspension for 10 days. Epidemiological investigations showed that rams kept under intensive systems were subjected to large-scale invasion of their genitalia by bacteria which led to infection of the accessory glands and orchitis and epididymitis. Apart from the preputial cavity, some rams kept on open range were entirely free of bacterial infection of their genitalia, and those that did have bacteria in the deeper parts of their genitalia had a very significantly lower incidence of pathological lesions of their genitalia. Finding bacteria and neutrophils in semen is consistent with the epidemiological findings.
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