Web resource on available DNA variant tests for hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions in dogs and cats: An Update


Vast progress has been made in the clinical diagnosis and molecular basis of hereditary diseases and genetic predisposition in companion animals. The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the availability of DNA testing for hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions in dogs and cats utilizing the WSAVA-PennGen DNA Testing Database web resource (URL: http://research.vet.upenn.edu/WSAVA-LabSearch). Information on hereditary diseases, DNA tests, genetic testing laboratories and afflicted breeds added to the web-based WSAVA-PennGen DNA Testing Database was gathered. Following verification through original research and clinical studies, searching various databases on hereditary diseases in dogs and cats, and contacting laboratories offering DNA tests, the data were compared to the resource reported on in 2013. The number of molecularly defined Mendelian inherited diseases and variants in companion animals listed in the WSAVA-PennGen DNA Testing Database in 2020 drastically increased by 112% and 141%, respectively. The number of DNA variant tests offered by each laboratory has also doubled for dogs and cats. While the overall number of laboratories has only slightly increased from 43 to 47, the number of larger corporate laboratories increased, while academic laboratories have declined. In addition, there are now several laboratories that are offering breed-specific or all-breed panel tests rather than single-DNA tests for dogs and cats. This unique regularly updated searchable web-based database allows veterinary clinicians, breeders and pet owners to readily find available DNA tests, laboratories performing these DNA tests worldwide, and canine and feline breeds afflicted and also serves as a valuable resource for comparative geneticists.

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The contributions by the staff of all the laboratories as well as the many colleagues who provided invaluable information regarding testing and disease are greatly appreciated. We also thank Leslie King, PhD for careful editing assistance.


Supported in part by Mars, PennGen, and World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH OD 010939).

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All the authors made substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition and extraction of data and for analysis and interpretation of the results. Each author agrees to be accountable for all aspects of the accuracy or integrity of the work. Specifically, UG developed the concept, JLR and JC gathered and entered the information, JLR and KR verified the gene variants, JLR, JC, KR, JS, and SY maintained the web-based resource, JLR, JC, and UG reviewed and analyzed the data and wrote the first drafts of the manuscript, and all the authors contributed and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Urs Giger.

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The authors are or were associated with the academic PennGen Laboratories which offer DNA, metabolic, and hematological testing for certain hereditary diseases in dogs and cats.

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The datasets generated and analyzed are available upon request from the authors.

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Not applicable as neither animals nor tissue samples were used in this study.

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Rokhsar, J.L., Canino, J., Raj, K. et al. Web resource on available DNA variant tests for hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions in dogs and cats: An Update. Hum Genet (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00439-021-02256-5

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