Genetics of canine anal furunculosis in the German shepherd dog

Jonathan Massey, Andrea D. Short, Brian Catchpole, Arthur House, Michael J. Day, Hannes Lohi, William E R Ollier, Lorna J. Kennedy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Canine anal furunculosis (AF) is characterised by ulceration and fistulation of perianal tissue and is a disease that particularly affects German shepherd dogs (GSDs). There are some similarities between AF and perianal Crohn's disease (CD) in man. An immune-mediated aetiopathogenesis for AF has been suggested due to tissue pathology, a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) association and clinical response to ciclosporin. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) can be conducted in dogs with fewer markers and individuals than would be required in a human study. A discovery GWAS was performed on 21 affected and 25 control GSDs from the UK. No SNPs reached genome-wide significance levels at this stage. However, 127 nominally associated SNPs were genotyped in further 76 cases and 191 controls from the UK and Finland. Sequencing of these regions was undertaken to discover novel genetic variation. Association testing of these variants in the UK and Finnish cohorts revealed nine significantly associated SNPs, six of which cause non-synonymous changes in protein sequence. The ADAMTS16 and CTNND2 gene regions were most significantly associated with disease. Members of the butyrophilin protein family, important in intestinal inflammatory regulation, were also associated with disease, but their independence from the MHC region remains to be established. The CTNND2 gene region is also interesting as this locus was implicated in human ulcerative colitis and CD, albeit at a different candidate gene: DAP. We suggest that this represents a common association between inflammatory bowel disease-related conditions in both species and believe that future studies will strengthen this link. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)311-324
    Number of pages13
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Canine anal furunculosis
    • Crohn's disease
    • German shepherd dog
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Perianal


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