The genetic marker test for prcd-PRA

By Jeanette Felix - with permission

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs:


can be used to detect prcd in Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs. Extensive study of a large pedigree that included several PRA-affected dogs demonstrated that the prcd disease gene is present in the ASTCD breed and does cause prcd-PRA disease in Pattern C dogs. However, in this same pedigree, a case of a PRA-affected dog demonstrated that not all retinal degeneration is caused by the prcd disease gene. Both in ASTCDs and ACDs,there are known cases either of acquired (non-inherited) retinal degeneration or a non-prcd type of PRA. These conditions are not detectable with OptiGen's test for prcd-PRA.

In such cases, a PRA-affected dog could get a test result of Pattern A or Pattern B. Such a dog would not have prcd-PRA disease, but would have some other type of retinal disease. Owners must understand and accept this limitation in order to use the OptiGen test wisely. ASTCD test results are not automatically reported to the OFA registry, but the owner may choose to make this submission.

Jeanette S. Felix, Ph.D.
President and Manager
OptiGen, LLC
Cornell Business & Technology Park
767 Warren Road, Suite 300
Ithaca, NY 14850



OptiGen "free" testing
New AVS service


OptiGen is interested in receiving blood samples from PRA-affected dogs, that have not previously been DNA tested. The reasons for this are described on OptiGen's web site at www.optigen.com

The thought of shipping a whole blood sample to the USA is daunting but AVS is now able to assist.

Procedures

1. Visit www.optigen.com and comply with all OptiGen's requirements.
2. If you receive pre-approval for a "free" test, send blood samples (two are needed), a copy of your pre-approval and payment to AVS.
AVS will charge $33.00 (incl GST)
Address samples to:
Agriculture Victoria Services - DNA testing
(Attn: Nick Robertson, Catriona Thompson)
475 Mickelham Road
ATTWOOD Vic. 3049


AVS will extract DNA and ship it to OptiGen for you. Test results and any other correspondance will come to you directly from OptiGen.
Laboratory samples for overseas shipment need specialised packing and various Customs declarations. International Air Mail rates are costly. Having these factors in mind, I think the AVS offer is a very attractive one.

Noreen Clark


*** RNSWCC 20/20 2004 ***
22-26 March 2004
Another reminder ...



The order code is RNSWCC2004

This code must be quoted, when you place your online orders for tests.
Mailing address for blood samples:  (Please note change in the following address. The name of the government department concerned has recently changed.)


Department of Primary Industries
DNA Testing Services
(Attn Catriona Thompson)
475 Mickelham Road
ATTWOOD Vic. 3049


General procedures
1. Visit www.optigen.com. Print the instructions relating to blood drawing, packing and shipping. Your vet will need both. Most vets will be able to supply cold packs, etc., if they know in advance.

2. Let me know which dogs you intend to test. Dog name and breed, please.

3. The dates above are those between which blood samples are to be received by AVS (Agriculture Victoria Services, OptiGen's associate laboratory in Australia). If possible, draw blood and post samples early in this week (Monday 22 March - Wednesday 25 March). Post by Express Post.

4. Orders may be made online: www.optigen.com, after the order code is available. The ordering procedure is detailed, so allow yourself plenty of time. Have your dog's Registration Certificate and your credit card beside you, before you begin to place your online order.

5. OptiGen sends test results to AVS. AVS sends them to you. Test results are usually available in about four weeks. Your may expect your results at the end of April. If you have not received your results by May, contact AVS.

6. All results are confidential to OptiGen and AVS. ACD owners, who would like me to post their results to my web site, should forward their results to me.

*** "Alternative" DNA tests ***


As well as organising 20/20s for all breeds serviced by OptiGen, for the past few years, I have been encouraging ACD and ASTCD breeders to use VetGen's coat colour tests. I have no financial interest in either company, nor do I receive benefits of any kind from either of them.

During the last month or so, a few Australian breeders have contacted me about DNA tests that are allegedly similar to those offered by OptiGen and VetGen, but cheaper. Other such queries have been posted to ACD-interest email lists in the USA., one of which related to Briard testing. The Genetics Chair of ACDCA sought advice from OptiGen.

I am circulating the OptiGen response (below) by way of warning, and with permission of the Genetics Chair of ACDCA to whom it was written. A "cheap" DNA test may be "cheap", in ways other than cost and also may be offered illegally.

Noreen Clark


Here's the rest of the story - Cornell patented the test for Briard Congenital Stationary Night Blindness, and licensed OptiGen to offer the test. As you know, we prefer to test blood, not cheek swabs as yet, for more reliable preps. A small - one person in her basement - company in Rockville, MD, set up the test just prior to patent approval, using the published mutation data, and did it on cheek swabs and for a lower price. We (Cornell) were prepared to sue for infringement, but waited our turn when she was sued by VetGen for similar infringement with von Willebrand's disease testing. That suit was litigated (there's full transcripts at a link (Legal Items) on homepage of www.vetgen.com The judgment required her to cease and make restitution, which she couldn't do. The business "disappeared" from view and either went underground or ended. The company was GeneSearch and the person was Mary Whitely. The Briard test patent is good and enforceable, therefore no U.S. or Canadian company may do this testing.

The current rumor about cheek swab use for marker tests for PRA (especially for English Cockers) is active in Australia. It appears to start with a Canadian company - HealthGene - who earlier tried selling a prcd-PRA test with an inferior procedure. Although they claimed it was OptiGen's test, it was not, and they had multiple diagnostic errors which owners asked us to clarify. Now HealthGene appears to be recruiting both funding and testing in Australia, and I've been told they promise "70% accuracy" with their test. What can I say?--

Rosemary Hoffman   ACD Dylan PD-I,2/3 SSA,CD,OA,NAJ,HICs,CGC,QW
HOGA Agility   ACD Annie AAD,SM,CDX,AX,AXJ,NAP,HICs,QW,CGC,TDI
Jackson, MS ACD Roxy PP (Pointed Puppy)
Rosemary Hoffman    Elkhound Kodiak SC (100% Snuggle Certified)

"Miss Dog Manners.com"

Noreen Clark


UPDATE


The next Australian 20/20

*** The next Australian 20/20 Clinic will be held in July 2004 ***


The dates for blood to be sent to the DPI are from MON 19th July, to Fri 23rd July 2004

Participants:          dog breeders/owners living anywhere in Australia and New Zealand.

Breeds:         any breed serviced by OptiGen DNA tests for inherited disease.

Please let me know ASAP if you intend to have dogs tested through this 20/20 Clinic and contact others who may be interested in the 20/20 Clinic.


General info.
OptiGen provides a number of DNA tests for inherited diseases in various dog breeds. OptiGen also offers a discount plan, the 20/20 Clinic: 20% discount on cost of test if 20 or more dogs are tested. A 20/20 cannot be run for fewer than 20 dogs. Visit the OptiGen web site at Optigen.com

Mailing address for blood samples:          (Please note change in the following address. The name of the government department concerned has recently changed.)

Department of Primary Industries
DNA Testing Services
(Attn Catriona Thompson)
475 Mickelham Road
ATTWOOD Vic. 3049
EMAIL: Catriona Thompson

General procedures
1.     Visit www.optigen.com. Print the instructions relating to blood drawing, packing and shipping. Your vet will need both. Most vets will be able to supply cold packs, etc., if they know in advance.

2.    Register your interest which the dogs you intend to test. Dog name and breed, please. Email details to: Chris Strandly

3.    The dates above are those between which blood samples are to be received by DPI (Department of Primary Industries, OptiGen's associate laboratory in Australia). If possible, draw blood and post samples early in the week (Monday 19th July - Wednesday 21st July). Post by Express Post.

4.     Orders may be made online:Optigen.com , after the order code is available. The ordering procedure is detailed, so allow yourself plenty of time. Have your dog's Registration Certificate and your credit card beside you, before you begin to place your online order.

5.    OptiGen sends test results to DPI.DPI sends them to you. Test results are usually available in about four weeks. Your may expect your results at the end of August. If you have not received your results by September, contact DPI.

6.     All results are confidential to OptiGen and DPI. ACD owners, who would like to post their results to Noreen Clark's web site, should forward their results to her, at Noreen Clark.



Procedures to be followed by participating owners.


1.     Make sure, in advance, that your vet has EDTA (violet-top) tubes in stock, 3 ml size or larger. Print the instructions for blood-drawing. Read them carefully, yourself, and make a copy for yout vet.

2.    Order your test(s) online from OptiGen. Visit Optigen.com and choose Request tests. Information required includes name, registration number and microchip number (if applicable) for dog(s) to be tested and name and registration number of parents of tested dog(s). OptiGen's online ordering system responds immediately with a set of documents and instructs you to print them.

3.    Have your dogs bled by your vet. Remember to take the OptiGen documents with you . You and your vet must sign these documents. PLEASE make sure the Vet gets at LEAST 3 to 5 ml of blood! If , for some reason, they have to redraw blood for another sample, this ensures there is enough to do so.

4.    Mail the blood sample(s) and documents to DPI. Pack the samples as described on the Optigen website.. Cold packing essential. Express mail by Australia Post is recommended. We have had no problems with this method. Enclose a stamped, self addressed post card, for the DPI to return to you as confirmation that your sample has arrived. This saves their time with people ringing/ emailing to confirm these details. (Our dog samples are not the only work they do :-) ).

Blood samples must be mailed to DPI in time for them to be received by DPI during the week 19-23 JULY 2004 (DPI acceptance period). If possible, avoid mailing dates/times that will result in samples being in transit over the weekend.

Please contact me for any further details. Chris Strandly


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