College News

Identification of gene leads to diagnostic test

antczakExciting research findings on Lavender Foal Syndrom (LFS) were recently published in the the journal PLoS Genetics. The project was a joint effort between Dr. Douglas Antczak’s lab and that of Dr. Samantha Brooks of the Department of Animal Science. Brooks was the lead author on the study.

LFS is an important inherited disease of Arabian horses that causes a complex neurological condition that is always lethal shortly after birth. The disease is classified as an autosomal recessive condition, which means that horses carrying one copy of the mutant gene appear normal. Only horses that carry two copies of the mutant gene (one from each parent) are affected. Researchers in the laboratories of Drs. Brooks and Antczak have identified the mutated gene (myosin Va) that causes the disease and developed a simple molecular assay that can be used as a diagnostic test to determine carrier status.