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Report on PRA - Maureen Sharp January 2006


I have just heard from the AHT who sent me the following.

"We have heard that we have been awarded large scale funding to look at PRA and HC in various breeds of dog - which is good news for the Tibetan Spaniel as we listed it among the first 4 breeds we will work on. We have already looked at a small number (23) candidate genes, but unfortunately none turned out to be involved with PRA in the TS.

We have already examined about 400 genetic markers from all over the canine genome, trying to identify regions that appear linked (or close to) the gene that is causing PRA in your breed. That is in addition to the 23 candidate genes we have analysed. So we have tried hard to find your mutation! Sometimes it is the luck of the draw and I'm sorry to say we have not been lucky so far with this disease. In contrast, we looked at a similar number of candidate genes in our search for the gene that causes HC in another breed and got lucky - that breed now has a DNA test. So we have been using sensible strategies, we have just been unlucky. But our new project, which is being funded to the tune of £250,000 is an exciting one, and we hope it will turn our luck around.

So, please be patient with us for a bit longer - we are trying everything we know to find your mutation."

Maureen Sharp (Co-ordinator - PRA Fund) is home of the PRA Fund and the South East & East Anglian Tibetan Spaniel Society