The scientists have identified a MHC Class ll haplotype associated with an increased risk of Vizsla Inflammatory Polymyopathy. We are still a considerable way from our goal of being able to determine which vizslas have the potential to carry forward an expression of the disease – but the published research findings are a very exciting step in the right direction.
Please do take time to read the abstract It explains that the current research into VIP has the potential to help human sufferers of myositis – and indeed other inheritable inflammatory disorders. Pedigree dog breeds that display high predisposition for certain spontaneously occurring diseases have already proved to represent a powerful comparative genetic model for aiding in the discovery of novel genetic loci underlying analogous human conditions.
The purpose of the research is to develop a DNA screening test. Until this proves possible the advice is to avoid breeding from the first degree relatives of VIP affected dogs. To reduce homozygosity a low co-efficient of inbreeding should also be aimed for.
In the UK breeders will wish to consider their legal position with regard to the provisions of the Animal Welfare regulations 2016 (Schedule 6)
(5) No dog may be kept for breeding if it can reasonably be expected, on the basis of its genotype, phenotype or state of health that breeding from it could have a detrimental effect on its health or welfare or the health or welfare of its offspring.
Since publication we have continued to submit saliva samples from affected dogs and graded controls. The dataset now comprises c 530 dogs. Lorna Kennedy and her team at CIGMR have extracted DNA and DLA typed most of these samples. Further analysis of the data has confirmed an increased significance for all the previously published associations. This is an exciting finding and we are hoping that Lorna’s studies can now proceed to further interrogation of the information provided on the SNP arrays. This work is very labour intensive and so continuing funding is crucial.
We are hopeful that there will be continuing collaboration with the consortium looking at “myositis” in the human. The AHT too are keen to help – having been the first to sequence the genome of an affected dog. See here for a presentation by Dr Oliver Foreman – a postdoctoral geneticist
The researchers have specifically thanked the many owners that have provided their vizslas’ samples. They have also placed on record their appreciation of the generous financial donations provided firstly by the Hungarian Vizsla Club and now the Hungarian Vizsla Welfare Charity. In turn of course the greatest acknowledgement must be to the vizsla community that has worked so hard to raise funds. Without this effort the research work would not have been possible.