1455: Identification of Genes That Confer Risk for Inflammation of the Brain

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $66,777.72
Dr. Simon R. Platt, BVMS, University of Georgia
January 1, 2011 - June 30, 2014
Sponsor(s): Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, Inc., Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Genetic Research Fund
Breed(s): Maltese, Chihuahua, Pug
Research Program Area: Neurology

Abstract

Necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME) is an inflammatory disorder of the brain and its surrounding membranes that most commonly affects small dogs. Breeds affected include the Pug, Maltese, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Boston Terrier, Papillion, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier and West Highland White Terrier. Affected dogs can develop seizures, depression, difficulty walking, circling and blindness. The cause of NME is unknown. Dogs with NME typically develop neurological signs very quickly and often die due to a lack of ideal treatment regimens. There is no way to definitively test for NME before death. Multiple laboratories have shown NME to be inherited within families of Pug dogs, supporting a role for genetic factors in the development of this disease. The goal of this study is to characterize previously identified DNA regions of interest in order to identify specific genetic mutations that are responsible for this disorder in Pugs, Maltese and Chihuahuas. The identification of genes associated with NME will improve our understanding of the disease process, allow for the development of DNA tests and potentially more directed treatment strategies. Genetic testing ultimately should allow for a dramatic reduction in the incidence of NME through non-disruptive alteration of breeding programs.

Publication(s)

- Barber RM, Schatzberg SJ, Corneveaux JJ, Allen AN, Porter BF, Pruzin JJ, Platt SR, Kent M, Huentelman MJ. Identification of Risk Loci for Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in Pug Dogs. J Hered. 2011 Sep-Oct;102 Suppl 1:S40-6.

-Schrauwen I, Barber RM, Schatzberg SJ, Siniard AL, Corneveaux JJ, Porter BF, et al. (2014) Identification of Novel Genetic Risk Loci in Maltese Dogs with Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis and Evidence of a Shared Genetic Risk across Toy Dog Breeds. PLoS ONE9(11): e112755. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0112755

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