Monday, February 16, 2015

New Information on ARVC

We're not going to rehash the debate here about whether Dr Kate Meurs’ 
ARVC-1 test identifies Boxers that do or don't have the gene for ARVC. That controversy has been ongoing since shortly after Dr Meurs announced her discovery and test in 2009 and I think we’re all sick of arguing about it. Instead, Dr Bruce Cattanach's announcement & peer reviewed journal paper (just published online a few days ago) can speak for itself. Please read the paper at the link below, check out the qualifications of the paper’s author and co-authors and discuss it with your own cardiologist. IMO, this is the most hopeful news we've had about ARVC for a long, long time.

ARVC News from Dr Bruce Cattanach:

I have some answers on problems that have been experienced with Kate Meurs’ striatin test for Boxer ARVC and which I think will be of interest particularly to American breeders.  These are provided in a substantively peer reviewed paper submitted to a highly regarded British veterinary journal and formally published online yesterday.  It can be accessed at:

The bottom line message is that striatin is NOT the gene for ARVC but it lies very close to the true ARVC locus on the same chromosome where it can separate from it by meiotic recombination.  This accounts for the evident association between the striatin mutation and the disease in some dogs but its absence in others, and also the existence of permanently disease-free lines of dogs that carry the striatin mutation even in the homozygous condition.  A major point is that the findings basically accord well with those of Meurs but, with the extra genetic evidence provided by the pedigree assessment, a different interpretation is demanded.  Several other points of interest also emerged.

Although the study does not identify the true ARVC mutation, my hope is that the findings will trigger further research upon the region involved such that either the true ARVC gene, or maybe DNA markers that are tightly enough linked to it to serve the equivalent role, will be found.  Any such work will have to be conducted in American Boxers as ARVC is no longer evident in the show section of the breed in the UK.

 Bruce Cattanach