02550: The Role of Bartonella spp. Exposure and Cardiac Genetic Variation on the Clinical Expression of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy in the Boxer Dog
Grant Status: Open
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) in the Boxer dog is an adult onset, familial disease characterized by the presence of ventricular arrhythmias, fainting and sudden death. The investigators have identified a causative mutation in the cardiac Striatin gene that is highly associated with the development of Boxer ARVC, and have demonstrated that some Boxer dogs with the mutation have a more severe form of the disease and will become quite sick while others will remain free of clinical signs. The reason for the variability in clinical signs is unknown but is thought to be associated with concurrent factors for an individual dog which could include a role for chronic infections, as well as genetics, hormonal levels, or other external factors including diet or exercise. The range of disease manifestation of Bartonella infection in dogs is broad, but has been shown to infiltrate the heart muscle, and has also been identified in human beings with ARVC. The investigators hypothesize that chronic Bartonella spp. infection may lead to the development of a more severe form of Boxer ARVC. Understanding the role of this, and other infectious diseases, in the severity of ARVC may greatly improve the ability to manage this common and sometimes fatal heart disease.
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