02535-MOU: Clinical and Molecular Genetic Analysis of Juvenile-Onset Laryngeal Paralysis in American Staffordshire Terriers

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $20,400
Gary S. Johnson, DVM, PhD; University of Missouri
July 1, 2018 - October 31, 2022

Sponsor(s): Staffordshire Terrier Club of America

Breed(s): American Staffordshire Terrier
Research Program Area: Neurology
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In this study, the investigators will examine a newly recognized, fatal, neurologic disease referred to as American Staffordshire Terrier juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy (AST-JLPP). This project has two objectives: 1) to conduct thorough neurologic and pathology examinations of affected American Staffordshire Terrier puppies, and 2) to identify the molecular genetic cause for the disease. In the first objective, the neurologic examination will include characterization of the nature and degree of neurological deficits by a board-certified veterinary neurologist. Electromyography (EMG) and various nerve conduction velocities will be measured and recorded, and a laryngeal exam will be performed. Examination of affected nerves and muscle tissue as well as systemic gross and histopathological examination will be performed. A summary of the findings will be published in a scientific veterinary journal so that veterinarians around the world will be able to recognize and diagnose this new disease. To accomplish the second objective, the investigators will perform whole genome sequencing for puppies with AST-JLPP. A genome-wide association study will be used to map the AST-JLPP. Successful discovery of the causal mutation would provide a basis for DNA tests that could be used to confirm a diagnosis of AST-JLPP and aid breeders for marker-based breeding strategies.

Funding for the research is provided through the collaborative efforts and generosity of the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America. The AKC Canine Health Foundation supports the funding of this effort and will oversee grant administration and scientific progress.

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