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DCM Gene Mutation Testing - Setting the Record Straight

Discussion in 'Doberman Health Issues and Questions' started by TrinityDobes, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. TrinityDobes

    TrinityDobes Novitiate

    Permission to cross post is granted by the author.

    Dear Doberman Pincsher Community:

    I had a detailed conversation today (11-11-10) with Dr. Kate Meurs of Washington State University . She has authorized me to relay several parts of our discussion to Doberman lovers worldwide.

    Recently on the DPCA list Patience Sassone of Wildfire Dobermans recently mentioned, “What does everyone think about the litter of 6 who all tested positive (both homo and hetero evenly) and yet both parents tested negative?” This statement concerns me because I know that this does not follow Mendelian genetics of inheritance. I personally don’t believe it to be true and feel that either the Dobermans were misrepresented or the testing of these Dobes and their supposed progeny did not actually take place.

    I asked Dr. Meurs about this since I am trying to decide whether to recommend DNA genetic DCM testing for five 6 weeks old puppies out of a bitch that we bred. I asked Dr. Meurs can we rely on parentage or should we run individual DCM tests on the litter of five to be sure. They were born to a dam that has tested Negative for the mutant DCM gene deletion and are sired by a Homozygous Positive. By parentage we already know the result for all of the puppies will be Positive Heterozygous. Dr. Meurs told me there was no need to test each puppy since they will all be positive heterozygous and added unless of course we felt we wanted to test them. She said her test results are solid and will stand up to the predicted parentage of inheritance genetics.

    Dr. Meurs further stated that neither she nor anyone at her lab has been contacted by ANYONE regarding this type of scenario. If this indeed is the case she would like to know about it and will be glad to run the tests again at no charge. She said their WSU lab is very accurate in their test results and have less than a one tenth of one percent error rate.

    I asked Dr. Meurs if her work on the DNA Doberman DCM mutant gene (deletion) discovery has been peer reviewed and she said that yes it has with a wonderful reception by her peers. She said the abstract was first published in the May 2010 issue of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine ACVIM Journal and she presented her findings in person at the Veterinary Cardiology Conference in June of 2010. The abstract is entitled PDK4 and its Association with Doberman Genetic DCM.

    I asked Dr. Meurs if she felt this mutant gene deletion that she has discovered and developed the Doberman DNA DCM test for causes Doberman genetic DCM and she answered YES SHE DOES. She added that there may be other different causative genes yet to be discovered or modifier genes relating to penetrance.

    I mentioned to Dr. Meurs that I had heard there were negative comments being made by the Boxer people regarding the DCM test she developed for their breed a few years ago. Dr. Meurs said that as far as she knows there was only one vocal person speaking out against the test and his name is Dr Bruce Cattanach who is a mouse geneticist in the United Kingdom . She said that any questions about the Boxer test have been answered by her and the WSU lab has run over 3,000 tests to date without any problems or complaints. She feels the Boxer breeders have embraced the DCM test and she hears very positive feedback from them. Dr. Meurs stated that she (or anyone from WSU) has not had to retract any statements or claims about the accuracy or standards of the Boxer DNA DCM test. She further noted they have only run 10 Boxer DCM tests from the UK so she does feel Dr. Cattanach has made a negative impact relating to the Boxer DCM testing in that geographic area.

    Dr. Meurs said she would be glad to host a WSU Webinar for the Doberman community within the next month if we would be interested. I told her that I am sure she would get good participation from Doberman breeders/owners and thanked her very much for offering to do so. She is going to contact her IT people to begin arrangements for the Webinar. She said she will prepare further charts about the Doberman DCM genetic mutation and DNA DCM test and will further review it with us at the Webinar. Dr. Meurs said we will be able to ask her question by typing them to her live and she will respond during the Webinar. The Webinars in the past have gone for a couple of hours.

    I hope that my reporting to you the specific responses from Dr. Kate Meurs to my above questions will help to put to rest some of the concerns that I have seen expressed on the DPCA Members list and on the CyberDobes list. I feel that Dr. Meurs has been more than helpful in trying to explain her findings to us and answer our questions and address our concerns.

    Please get your questions ready for Dr. Meurs upcoming Doberman DCM Webinar. She will be announcing how to participate in the Webinar soon. Thank you.


    Susan Van Orman Claggett
    Van Orman Dobermans - Home Page

    Permission to cross post is granted by the author.

    As soon as I see the information regarding the Webinar I will post it - I personally am pretty impressed with Dr. Meurs responsiveness and willingness to do a follow up informational session with the ability to ask questions!

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