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September 14, 2020
September 13, 2019:
May 16, 2019:
March 8, 2019:
February 11, 2019:
November 12, 2018:
HGTD featured in The Atlantic: What Vets Think of ‘23andMe for Dogs’
Visit our IPFD in the Media section for more published articles, commentaries, etc. from outside organizations that reference the HGTD or IPFD. Items in this section related to the HGTD specifically are also presented together in the article In the News: Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs.
December 19, 2018:
Update on the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
Visit our IPFD News section for more news related to the HGTD and other IPFD news.
The IPFD Harmonization of Dogs (HGTD) is a multi-stakeholder, collaborative effort to create an open access, sustainable online resource that:
- Catalogs information provided voluntarily from genetic test providers (GTPs) including information on their company and services, quality measures and expertise, tests offered and more. We are continually engaging more GTP participants.
- Has collated and assembled existing and new resources for genetic counselling and education; and provided the foundation for further developments.
- Will host expert panel reviews of genetic tests and their application.
- Plans to include a program for standardized proficiency testing and potentially peer review and audit.
A related development, the Health Strategy Database for Dogs, will include a comprehensive list of conditions (potentially inherited) by breed, country and organization or group who has developed recommendations (i.e. Health Strategy Providers). This resource will support counseling that considers not only those conditions for which there is a genetic test, but also all those breed disorders/ characteristics that impact health and well-being in breeds.
Our Steering Committee includes: Brenda Bonnett, CEO, IPFD; Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, HGTD Project Director, IPFD; Diane Brown, AKC Canine Health Foundation; Matthew Breen, North Carolina State University; Cathryn Mellersh, Animal Health Trust; Sofia Malm, Swedish Kennel Club; Wim van Haeringen, VHL Genetics, Netherlands; Sue Pearce-Kelling, Optigen; and Eddie Dzuik; Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). IPFD, our Partners and other stakeholders in this initiative recognize the input and work of many other experts and organizations in addressing the use of DNA tests in dogs. The Harmonization initiative is working to further engage numerous experts to participate in panels to develop the resource, provide evaluation of tests and work to advance genetic counseling.
IPFD actively engaged Leadership Sponsors (see below) to help develop the HGTD Quality Database. These collaborators include international genetic test providers (GTPs), academic institutions, the Hereditary Disease Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and other important dog health organizations.
A prototype was presented at the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop and at the 9th Canine and Feline Genetics and Genomics meeting in Minnesota, May 2017. Beta testing of the Quality Database was completed in early 2018, and it was launched on 7 May 2018.
Since the launch, there has been a surge of interest from both the public, and potential new collaborators. The HGTD database was the culmination of months of hard work, building of new collaborations, fundraising, and data management. One of the major IPFD projects, it arose from discussions at the International Dog Health Workshops (IDHWs); the HGTD is a proud achievement, exemplifying the IDHW tagline: Information – Collaboration – Action!
We have been pleased to find that people are already using the HGTD Database to help find the right international genetic test provider, and testing information, for their dogs. By publishing details on a test provider’s measure of quality, business and research information, and tests provided – as well as information on hundreds of breed-specific DNA tests – dog owners and health professionals are able to make the most of this project.
The growth and development over 2018, and the positive interest from diverse professional and public media - from JAVMA to The Atlantic - has been reassuring that this project is both timely and needed in the world of genetic testing. It has also become apparent that IPFD has an important role to play as an independent voice in discussions on the complex world of genetic testing. See, for example, our response to an article in Nature, where we are able to provide a balanced view of issues. See also, a Improving Canine Genetic Testing, a discussion on standards for GTP labs and broader challenges. This is a field with a diverse array of stakeholders, and encouraging discussions will continue to be part of our role.
As of December 2018, Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs database currently holds basic information for 59 genetic test providers across 17 countries, with information on quality measures and accreditation for 26 active and participating test providers - including non-profits, academic institutions, and for-profits.
Our searchable genetic phenes database currently holds information on 300+ phenes across all breeds/types, and provides a plethora of information on each phene: links to OMIA, gene + mutations, a simple and advanced disease description, inheritance details, links to original publications, patents/licenses, comments from the original researchers/experts on application, and breed specific information (such as research/validation) - where possible.
Our projects moving forward in 2019 are to continue to engage with researchers, veterinary experts, and test providers, and also to focus on the development of an expert panel for reviewing genetic testing resources, as well as interactive educational tools for consumers. In addition, we are looking for collaboration to address some common problems across genetic testing, such as nomenclature of genetic tests - which has been a significant challenge in harmonizing across international researchers and test developers.
We are pleased that we continue to have sponsorship and support from many of our key Leadership Sponsors to develop our work for 2019. We would welcome anyone with an interest in contributing to, or participating in, the HGTD project to contact us. We are particularly keen to engage with academic and research institutions providing testing, who are concerned about ensuring genetic testing is a beneficial and responsible resource.
Read more about IPFD Partners and Sponsors
Other potential sponsors and collaborators are welcome to contact us to explore opportunities.
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