Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 41, Number 5, September-October 2001
Page(s) 439 - 450
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2001143

Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 41 (2001) 439-450

Risks of transmissible diseases in relation to embryo transfer

Bertrand Le Talleca, Claire Ponsartb, Brigitte Marquant-Le Guienneb and Bernard Guérinab

a  Laboratoire National de Contrôle des Reproducteurs, 13 rue Jouët, BP 65, 94703 Maisons-Alfort, France
b  UNCEIA, 13 rue Jouët, BP 65, 94703 Maisons-Alfort, France

(Received 15 October 2001; accepted 5 November 2001)

Realizing the potential of Embryo transfer (ET) for rapid, cheap and widespread dissemination of genetic material, the risk of transmission disease through the embryos must be considered. The aim of this paper is to evaluate theses risks at each step of production, storage and transfer. The pathogen agent may potentially originate from the donor male (semen) or the donor female (oocytes, embryos) and finally from the environmental conditions. As the differences between in vivo and in vitro derived embryos have been well described, evaluation of the potential risks should be assessed separately for in vivo and in vitro produced embryos. Even if this paper insist on the diseases or diseases agents that are more questionable, it clearly appears that ET remains the more safety way to transfer gene, provided prevention measures are properly handled (use of donor that are specific pathogen free, washing of embryos, additional treatment...) and furthermore it can be easily seen as the best way to prevent some disease transmissions (TSEs, leukosis, foot-and-mouth disease...).

Key words: embryo transfer / disease transmission / sanitary control / in vitro fertilization

Correspondence and reprints: Bertrand Le Tallec

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2001