There is a scheme to collect saliva samples from the relatives of vizslas affected by Polymyositis. Contributions from controls are also needed.
The aim of the project is to develop a DNA screening test to reveal whether an individual has the potential to “carry forward” an expression of the disease – see this Kennel Club Guide
To discover the markers for the disease the DNA of affected vizslas (and their close relatives) must be compared with that of unaffected families. The help of all vizsla owners is required.
What is desperately needed is for you make contact to say “my vizsla’s pedigree name is XXX – would his/her sample be useful for the research” All communications are dealt with swiftly – and in strictest confidence.
Sample collection is quick and easy . All participants are provided with everything that is required and there are no costs to the owner. Even the postage is prepaid.
The sample will be sent to CIGMR (the Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research) and will be completely confidential and anonymous once it is entered in to the DNA archive. No information will be reported back to the owner – or to anybody else in the breed. This is because it will only be possible to find out which genes and environmental factors are involved by identifying patterns in large numbers of affected and unaffected animals.
It is hoped that these measures will one day identify the genetic markers responsible for PM. Already the research has identified a haplotype associated with an increased risk of disease – (please visit the genetics page) but many more samples are needed to build on the great progress that has already been made. It is very exciting too that the project has the potential to help with research in to the human condition of myositis – and other inflammatory disorders also.
Everything now will depend on the extent to which it proves possible to engage the support and help not just of those who own vizslas but also that of their breeders – and stud dog owners too. Every single sample will matter hugely and the bigger the response we get then the more hope there will be of one day freeing our genetic pool from the scourge of this devastating and life threatening illness.