The occurence of Canine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency in Hungarian Irish Setter
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Canine leukocyte adhesion deficiency in Irish Setters is an immunodeficiency disease caused by an autosomal recessive inheritable mutation in the ITGB2-gene. This C36S mutation results in impairment of the leukocyte function, and the affected homozygous puppies suffer from recurrent bacterial infections, and consequently die young. Several countries have tested their Irish Setter populations to realize the frequency of this mutation, and several countries have introduced regulations on the use of carriers in breeding. In our study, we tested Irish Setters in Hungary, to try finding the national prevalence of CLAD. We used buccal swabs to easily and non-invasively sample the dogs, and the analyzed our samples at the laboratory at the Department of Animal Breeding. Out of 11 Irish Setter samples screened for the CLAD mutation, 2 carriers were identified; the remainder exhibited a normal genotype. Hungary currently has no rules or regulations regarding the use of CLAD-carriers in breeding. Obligatory testing by breeders to identify carrier animals will decrease the frequency of the mutation, and eventually enable the eradication of CLAD from the Irish Setter population. Because of the relatively small gene pool in this breed, and to limit the economical losses breeders could suffer if strict bans were introduced, it might be advisable to adopt the strategy of not eliminating carriers with desirable traits, but rather opting to breed them only to normal (clear) animals and then either to test the progeny for the presence of the mutation or choose to spay or neuter them before placement as pets. This strategy allows elimination of the CLAD mutation in a timely fashion without too severely restricting the breeding population, losing desirable characteristics, economically affecting established breeders, or producing additional CLAD-affected offspring.