April 7, 2020

Study IDs Gene Linked with Neonatal Lung Disease in Airedale Terriers

A new study has identified a gene associated with a developmental lung disease unique to Airedale Terriers that bears similarities to the most serious forms of this lung disease in human infants, proving valuable in both pet and human medicine.

WISDOM HEALTH Genetics made the announcement of the study which was published in PLOS Genetics and conducted by the University of Helsinki with support from the Wisdom Health Labs.

“This discovery has significant potential value for both veterinary and human medicine alike because of the similarities between canine and human genetics,” said Dr. Jonas Donner, Discovery Manager at Wisdom Health. “The study of lung disease in Airedale Terriers provides clues to identifying genetic causes of human disease.”

This neonatal lung disorder is novel to Airedale Terriers but resembles the most serious forms of the lung disease in human infants. “By understanding the symptoms, pathology and the specific genetic variant causing the disease in puppies, we will be able to not only assist in the development of a veterinary diagnostic test for this disease and promote responsible breeding practices, but the findings can also help human health researchers better understand the fatal disease affecting human infants,” said Donner.

The study, Recessive missense LAMP3 variant associated with defect in lamellar body biogenesis and fatal neonatal interstitial lung disease in dogs, identifies LAMP3 as a gene associated with a developmental lung disease in Airedale Terriers.

The discoveries of the variants associated with this lung disease can provide potential benefits to both humans and dogs alike. As a result of advancements in gene technologies and strict selective breeding practices, genetic studies in dogs continue to help researchers better understand corresponding human diseases.

Beyond the potential positive impact to human medicine, this discovery can also aid in the development of veterinary diagnostic tests, like those included in the WISDOM PANEL Genetic Health Screening test.

“We are incredibly proud to support the University of Helsinki on research efforts that both directly improve the lives of pets today and might pave the way to future discoveries in human health tomorrow,” said Dr. Rebecca Chodroff Foran, R&D Director at Wisdom Health. “Studies like these power the science behind the WISDOM PANEL Genetic Health Tests, empowering pet parents with the information they need to make the best decisions for their pets.”

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