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Full UK Lafora Screening programme launched

posted 9 Jun 2011, 12:01 by Ian Seath   [ updated 26 Jul 2011, 12:46 ]


The Wirehaired Dachshund Club and the Dachshund Breed Council are pleased to announce the launch of a full DNA screening programme for Lafora Disease in Miniature Wire-haired Dachshunds.

Lafora Disease is an inherited, late onset, progressive myoclonic epilepsy which is believed to affect up to 10% of UK Miniature Wire-haired Dachshunds. The condition typically becomes apparent after normal breeding age and progresses slowly over many years. There is no cure and management of the condition can be difficult.

The DNA test will be provided by Centogene, a German laboratory that has been offering a Lafora test to humans. The test, using cheek swabs, will identify “Clear”, “Carrier” and “Affected” dogs for the EPM2B Lafora gene mutation. Previously, the only test available could not differentiate between “Clear” and “Carrier” dogs.

In addition to screening for the known EPM2B mutation, a cohort of dogs will be able to have a full gene sequencing research test carried out in order to establish the extent of any further mutations that may be associated with Lafora Disease.

Nina Dible, Chair of the Wire-haired Dachshund Club said: “Our 2010 Lafora screening programme highlighted the need for a full DNA test and I am delighted that we are now able to launch this programme. I hope it will be fully supported by the Mini Wire community. It gives owners the ability to avoid breeding any more Lafora Affected dogs and we have a real possibility of eventually eradicating this harmful mutation from Mini Wire Dachshunds. I am also hopeful that we will be able to establish this as an official test, recognised by the Kennel Club”.

Nora Price has been appointed Programme Coordinator and all tests will be arranged by her, supported by Christine Gibson and Jo Lavin (WHDC Committee members), following a protocol agreed with Centogene and the Kennel Club. The costs of participating in the full screening programme are still being finalised and anyone who tested their dogs in 2010 will be given preferential rates.

Owners of MWHDs wishing to have their dogs tested should contact Nora Price.

E-mail: laforatesting@mypostoffice.co.uk (Tel: 01543 276797)

Further information on the screening programme will be published over the coming weeks.

9th June 2011: For immediate release.

Issued by the Wire-haired Dachshund Club and the Dachshund Breed Council.