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Using a Novel Approach to Understand Genetic Factors of Renal Disease

Reflux nephropathy is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged by the backward flow of urine into the kidney. Renal failure is a relatively common health problem in cats, but scientists recently recognized an inherited type of reflux nephropathy in Ragdolls. The affected cats have a failure to thrive and are often euthanized before the age of 6 years. Researchers from the University of Helsinki will use a genome-wide association-mapping approach with feline single nucleotide polymorphism gene chip arrays to identify the genetic background of reflux nephropathy in Ragdolls. The identification of the causative gene would enable the development of a DNA test for breeding purposes to eradicate the disease from the breed and to test its possible presence in other breeds with renal failures.


Dr. Hannes Lohi, University of Helsinki, Finland