New in 2020: Genetic tests listed by breed include a 'relevance rating'. Here is what that is and why it is important. A work in progress... this will be a dynamic index that may change as new information becomes available. Essentially, it is a visual expression of the level of evidence we have for the use of a given test in a specific breed.
The red, yellow, green ('traffic-light') layout is shown in paw prints beside the test listing returned in a breed search (see below), or as coloured badges on the Generic Phene page.
Direct-to-consumer genetic tests have provided greater access to many different breed-specific and general genetic tests for dogs. This has raised concerns from owners and breeders who need more guidance and direction in making informed testing decisions. To help with this, the HGTD database includes a simplified rating, indicating the amount of available evidence supporting the relevance of a specific genetic test for a specific breed/type.
Currently, the relevance rating is determined based on a wide-variety of evidence sources. This includes peer-reviewed research papers, recommendations from the original researchers/test developers, input from additional experts including veterinary specialists, and breed experts.
It is important when considering the ratings to understand that this effectively indicates how much we currently know or do not know about a specific test for a specific breed. This does not necessarily indicate how “good”, or “bad” a test is. It also does not indicate the clinical importance of a test.
A description of the ratings is below:
For each test-by-breed listing pawprints display beside the disease/ test name. Scroll over the pawprints to see an explanation.
Red – all current evidence indicates that the test is not meaningful or recommended in this breed
Orange - all current available evidence has been reviewed, but relevance is inconclusive.
and/or the clinical form of the disease has never been seen in this breed.
Yellow – the test is unknown, there is no evidence (i.e. research) available, or it has not been evaluated yet. These tests may or may not be meaningful for this breed. (The red banner is what you see with scroll-over.)
Green – there is some evidence or research available. Three levels indicate that some, moderate, or strong evidence is available indicating that the test may be meaningful or recommended for this breed.
IMPORTANT: The relevance ratings are dynamic. This means that as more research is undertaken, and more information on a test becomes available, the ratings will change. For example, it should be expected that those tests for breeds that are currently yellow will, over time, be assigned a green level or even red.
ALSO: Relevance ratings with same color coding displays in the breed lists at the top of each phene/test page;
More information on how the ratings are determined:
If the disease is offered in a breed, but there isn't any publication or expert comment we can find to support as to why, it is designated as unknown/unassessed "yellow" This is the default where the test is available for purchase, but we cannot currently find any info as to why.
In this early development, we are aiming to be transparent about what information we know (and what we don't know) to help inform the rationale around the relevance rating. Currently, the justification is follows:
peer reviewed papers, where they specifically reference the Breed in relation to the Test. These are referenced in the phenes information.
expert opinion from those researcher who originally developed the test.
expert opinion from additional geneticists familiar with the tests.
We are currently working to convert the above information (and provide greater space for publication records) in an additional resource file that will be open-access. In addition, we are surveying additional experts across the feild to ensure we are getting balanced and informed expertise.
Again the purpose is not saying a specific test is "good" or "bad" but that there is some reference to the volume and type of information that is available.
If you are a researcher or other expert, and believe a rating is inaccurate, or if you have data or test information you would like to share, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.