Effect of Immunization of Gilts with Zona Pellucida Antigen on Conception Rate and Litter Size

  • O. Fayemi Department of Veterinary Surgery & Reproduction University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria


Twenty gilts of the Large White breed were selected and divided into two groups of 10. One group was immunized with porcine zonae pellucidae isolated from ovaries collected from the slaughterhouse. The gilts, control and immunized, were bred. Immunization significantly reduced conception rate, 100% compared to 30% (P<0.001). The litter size in the immunized group 5.33 +0.58 (Mean +SD) was also significantly lower than the control, 9.3+1.77 (P<0.001). The mechanism involved in the reduction in conception rate and litter size might have been due to the usual fertilization failure as a result of prevention of sperm-binding and penetration of the zonae pellucidae. This reduction in conception rate may form the basis for the use of zonae as non-steroidal contraceptive. The possibility of the use of porcine zonae for immunocontraception in humans is mentioned.

Keywords: Gilt immunization, zona pellucida antigen, litter size

Trop. Vet. Vol. 21 (2) 21-25 (2003)

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eISSN: 0794-4845