Direct diagnosis possible for gPRA

As you are aware, the causative mutation for gPRA in Schapendoes dogs has been found. A direct mutation test has been established, which analyses the mutation directly in the gene which is homozygous in affected Schapendoes dogs.

Since 1 October 2008, the Ruhr-Universität-Bochum in Germany offered us a direct gene test for gPRA in the Dutch Schapendoes. Due to internal reorganization, from March 1st 2018, they have had to stop offering this test.
We are very pleased that we have found Biofocus LADR Gesellschaft für biologische Analytik mbH in Recklinghausen who are prepared, starting March 2018, to continue the work of Bochum on equal terms and with exactly the same method.
Biofocus has received all test data and material from Ruhr-Universität-Bochum and will carry out the test with the same expertise. Like Bochum, Biofocus will also pass on the test results of all the Schapendoes they have tested to the Schapendoes breed clubs.
The diagnostic certainty is virtually 100%. For breeding purposes heterozygous individuals (carriers +-) can be distinguished reliably from normal (homozygous ++) genotypes and from affected animals (homozygous mutant, –).
The cost will be € 59.50 incl. VAT. You will receive payment instructions together with the result of the test.
Biofocus also offers the possibility to simultaneously request a DNA profile together with the gPRA test. In that case the cost will be € 101.15 incl. VAT.

Under this link [PDF] you will find an (interactive) “Order Form, gPRA gene test Dutch Schapendoes”, which you can fill in on your computer and then print it out.

Hand over the form (partly completed by you) to your own veterinarian and ask him to:

The veterinarian needs to read your dog’s microchip with a chip reader and check whether the chip number matches the number stated on the pedigree of the presented dog.

Blood samples:
For a good result, it is highly recommended to do the test with blood samples. For this, send at least 3 EDTA-blood samples, preferably 3 ml each. If that is not possible then 4 samples of 2 ml or, if necessary, 3 x 2 ml. Each tube has to be marked with a sticker indicating clearly the chip number and the name of the dog in question.
If need be, in case blood collection seems impossible, you can send in at least 2 swabs.

Postage and packaging:
The samples do not have to be cooled, but must be sent immediately after collection. The tubes must be well packaged to prevent breakage (envelope covered with plastic bubble wrap). It is better to take the blood at the beginning of the week, so that there is not a weekend between sending and receipt.

You also need to join:

  • A copy of the original pedigree.
  • If available, a copy of the most recent eye examination report (ECVO).
  • The completed and signed research form.

Send everything together by “Priority post” to:
LADR Biofocus, Berghauser Strasse 295, D-45659 Recklinghausen, Germany.   

We prefer to have blood samples taken at the beginning of the week and sent so that they are quickly on site.
Put a sticker with the name and chip number of the dog on each blood sample.

Why blood and no swabs?

  1. Since the beginning of the research into gPRA Bochum has stored the DNA of all dogs tested in a DNA bank. Although this stored DNA is available for possible future research into any other health problems in the Schapendoes, it is less suitable than full blood. So, in addition to the gPRA test, Biofocus also offers us the possibility to store the blood sent in a blood bank from all dogs tested by Biofocus (costs included). With this blood better research can be done on other possible hereditary defects. In blood there is, of course, the DNA of the dog, but also many other substances, which can provide a lot of information. For this research to be viable large quantities of DNA are needed, for which again whole blood is preferable.
  2. In the case of a swab, there are risks that either there is not enough mucosal tissue on it, or that the swabs become contaminated, for example by mold growth or by the owners DNA from their fingers during the handling. As a result, too little cell material is present and insufficient DNA can be isolated. This might make it impossible to carry out the test and a new sample collection and a new test (with corresponding costs) are required.
  3. As mentioned above, swabs often provide insufficient DNA to enable other possible studies in the future. In addition they do not contain any other (metabolic) substances. The limited material that is obtained with a swab is usually not sufficient for use in other research.