Tuesday, December 1, 2020

History of artificial insemination

Artificial insemination is a technique in which sperm are collected from the male, processed, stored and artificially introduced into the female reproductive tract at proper time for purpose of conception.

Although many Arabian horse breeders banned assisted reproduction techniques until recently, it was the Arabs to first report on AI around 1322.

Several centuries later, in 1677, Anthony van Leeuwenhoek took the first step to what would be andrology later on by inventing a small microscope by which he was able to study gross movement of spermatozoa. In a letter to William Bounker of the Royal Society of London in 1678 he showed a picture of sperm cells of the human and the dog.

Lazzaro Spallanzani reported first successful use of AI. He started experiment with dog in 1784. This insemination resulted in the birth of three puppy’s 62 days later. He is also called “Father of modern artificial insemination”.

Spallanzani originally trained to be a priest, but he had a great interest in natural history and pursued the latter. He was a professor of natural history in Pavia by the age of 25.

It is believed that Spallanzani was the first to report the effects of cooling on human sperm when he noted, in 1776, that sperm cooled by snow became motionless.

In 1897 Heape, an outstanding reproductive biologist from Cambridge, reported the use of AI in rabbits, dogs and horses. Heape also studied the relationship between seasonality and reproduction, as a result of his research Cambridge became a world center for reproductive studies.

In 1900, Professor Ilya Ivanovich Ivanoff was hired by the Russian throne, started to develop AI procedures in horses. By 1922, Ivanoff was the first man to undertake successfully the AI of cattle and sheep. Ivanoff worked with stud farms. He obtained successful results with 10 cows.

The first commercial AI cooperative was founded in 1936 in Denmark, by Sørensen. Originally, AI was mainly performed with fresh semen, whereas from 1965 on, mostly frozen-thawed semen is used. Danish veterinarians (1937) developed the first rectovaginal/cervical fixation method of artificial insemination.

In India, first time, AI was done by Sampat Kumaran (1939) at ‘Palace Dairy Farm Mysore”. He inseminated large number of Halliker cows with semen of Holstein Friesian and got 33 cows pregnant.

Philips and Lardy (1940) developed egg yolk phosphate diluter for preserving fertility and motility of refrigerated bull spermatozoa. The first reports on human artificial insemination originated from Guttmacher (1943), Stoughton (1948) and Kohlberg (1953a; 1953b). It was the real start of a new era in assisted reproduction.
History of artificial insemination

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