Short Report for the Media (Dog Press) on the AHT
Study to Find Genetic Markers Linked to
in Tibetan Spaniels - Maureen Sharp November
Grounds and I went to visit the Animal Health Trust
recently and saw Matthew Binns and Cathryn Mellush.
We know they have done a huge amount of work towards
finding the PRA gene in Tibetan Spaniels and have
gone a considerable way in getting a result. We
have been advised that they have tracked down eight
markers on four promising chromosomes one of which
they hope might be the PRA marker but further work
needs to be done. Although all blood samples are
useful the results from the ones we have are inconclusive.
The AHT do not have sufficient blood samples from
individual families to identify if one is correct
and to reject others and we are afraid we will have
to wait until there are more cases and the blood
is available. To date we have samples from 16 PRA
cases but only have blood from approximately four
families with as many as five or six specific relatives.
The urgent need is for blood from a PRA affected
case, the parents and siblings and if possible the
grandparents. Ideally this makes a total of around
12 blood samples for each PRA case.
believe there have been three new cases of PRA in
2001 and four in 2002 but have only been partly successful
in getting blood from the individual affected dog
and his relatives. This is obviously difficult in
some cases when individual family members have died
and there were few in the litter. There have been
several where we have not received any co-operation.
could we urge everyone to check whether any brothers
and sisters of affected dogs are available and also
to check that any dogs with eye problems are tested
including those that went to other homes as puppies.
Obviously if a new dog is diagnosed and we already
have the blood from relatives this would be very helpful.
It is essential if we are to progress. In the meantime
the AHT are going to see if they can get any help
from the United States genome sequence and the work
being done on PRA in Lhasa Apsos. We have made such
progress with getting almost all the money, a substantial
number of blood samples and eight possible markers
and we need to get a result.
contact me if there are any queries or if I can be
of any help.