Researchers Evaluating Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome Test
The University of Kentucky’s (UK) Genetic Testing at Gluck laboratory is working to validate a test for Warmblood fragile foal syndrome after several stallions were identified as carriers of the mutation in the LH1 gene (also known as PLOD1).
This autosomal recessive disorder, which results in extremely fragile skin and abnormal joint laxity, occurs, as the name suggests, primarily in Warmblood horses. A foal must inherit the mutation from both parents to be affected. The KWPN-NA (the North American Dutch Warmblood studbook recently established a mandatory testing policy for stallions; find more information about that rule at kwpn-na.org/about/new-policy-for-stallions-regarding-warmblood-fragile-foal-syndrome-wffs.
The test will identify carriers so breeders can avoid pairing two carriers. Animals carrying one copy of the mutation are apparently unaffected.
The test can be performed using hair samples. Cost will be $40 per sample, with special pricing available through Genetic Testing at Gluck contract registries.
Author: Jenny Evans