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Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs Theme: Outline for Participants

    General Goals and Outcomes - all Themes: 
    By the conclusion of the 3rd IDHW participants should leave with a clear sense of key decisions on priorities / needs within the theme; remaining gaps/ challenges/ controversies; List of specific tasks/ actions to be undertaken over the next two years, by whom; and a clear understanding of how they, personally, will help achieve the desired outcomes.
    Please see: 3rd IDHW_Program Overview, Schedule, Themes and Speakers  for further information.


    Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (Harmonization/ Genetics) Theme 

    • Working Group Coordinator(s): Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, USA; Brenda Bonnett, Canada
    • Resource persons:  Wim van Haeringen, Netherlands, Cathryn Mellersh, UK
    • Facilitator(s):  Diane Brown, USA
    • Notetaker:  Ambre Jaraud, France


    Keys to The Harmonization/ Genetics Theme:
    In previous Dog Health Workshops, it was recognised that the proliferation of genetic tests, and test providers available paired with the lack of standardisation or regulation on a global scale is a huge concern. There is an urgent need for consumers to be able to access a resource to elucidate which genetic testing providers are robust, and what genetic tests options are applicable to improvement of dog health and welfare. The IPFD in collaboration with multiple stakeholders has developed a prototype platform to catalogue quality measures (QMs) for genetic testing providers. In addition, the IPFD and collaborators are working to develop balanced, independent reviews of genetic tests and their recommended usage, and support the development of proficiency testing.


    Some of the Keys we hope to address in this session: 

    • Increase input on the development, and content of the prototype (i.e. identifying and prioritizing QMs)
    • Engage further sponsors, collaborators, and Experts to address the challenges of The Tri-ad:
    • Genetic Testing Providers: What describes quality and reliability?
    • Tests: What describes quality and reliability?
    • Genetic Counselling – the next steps needed for phase 2. 
    • Develop working parties to address specific Tri-ad issues 
    • Clearly identify the needs and desires of the primary users: owners, breeders, commercial test providers, researchers, breed clubs, etc. 


    Continue reading below or download PDF


    3rd IDHW Guide for Participants_Harmonization_12April2017.docx


    Possible Questions for the Breakout Sessions: Harmonization/ Genetics 

    • Quality measures for genetic test providers are key to recognising laboratories that aim to provide a robust and reliable product. How do we:
      • Identify and prioritise quality measures that are reasonable for laboratories to achieve (short, medium, and long-term) and provide the necessary information to owners?
      • Ensure useful communication with the public to help them to make good, and informed provider choices?
      • Work with commercial test providers, (and others) to ensure clear communication, consistent and accurate data collection, and ensure laboratory practices are communicated in a fair and balanced manner?
    • How can we develop genetic testing validation? Proficiency testing has had success in other species – how can we do this for the dog? 
    • How can we keep balance, independence, and energy to contribute to the independent review of DNA tests? 
    • How do we making genetic counselling and advice accurate, accessible to the general public, and fundamentally helpful to improve the health and welfare of the dog? 
      • Genetic counselling for “whole dog health” 
      • Independent opinions and review of current and emerging DNA tests/ technologies
      • Discouraging poor laboratory and testing practices

    • Where do we go from here? 

      • Funding the next phases of database development and maintenance; increasing collaboration
      • Proficiency testing development and funding
    • How do we ensure that the structure of the Harmonization project remains independent but collaborative?



    Possible Specific Outcomes Harmonization/ Genetics Theme:

    • Develop the project to provide a proficiency testing scheme for dogs
    • Create working groups to continue the development of test validation and the database, specifically to:
      • Identify and develop new accreditations or validation schemes
      • Determine processes for the assessment of laboratory QM’s – what is accepted, published, non-sense, national vs. international, etc.  
      • Clear communication of QM’s – how does the public make an informed choice? 
      • Descriptions and glossaries of complex terms and processes, such as test descriptions, what “patents’ mean, and various accreditations schemes (i.e. ISO accreditation). 
    • Progressing Phase 2 of the harmonization project through working groups and project development on genetic counselling – identifying any leaders, current resources, and potential funding or funding recommendations
    • The recommendations of the group to ensure a long-term business model, funding, and active participation/knowledge contribution from experts and participants
    • Recommendations for public engagement and uptake of the database by the public, and relevant user stakeholders such as breed clubs, kennel clubs, advisory bodies etc. 

    Organisation of Breakout Session:

    Time frame (refer to 3rd International Dog Health Workshop Paris 2017: Program Schedule, Speakers and Breakout Themes):

    • To be accomplished before 1st Sharing session on Saturday at 16:05-17:45
      • Breakouts: 11:15 - 13:00 and 14:30-15:45 Saturday
        • Introduction 
          • Explain the background for the group and what tasks are required
          • Explain discussion format; facilitator’s role 
        • Short specific presentations:
          • Sue Pearce-Kelling on the Laboratory’s roles and responsibilities 
          • Wim Van Haeringen on ICAR’s development of proficiency testing for parentage profiling
          • Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, presentation on the database prototype
          • Cathryn Mellersh on possibilities for proficiency testing (disease) for the dog
            • Address questions, identify and prioritise issues, identify additional urgent development for the prototype, phase 2 and longer-term development for Harmonization
    • To be accomplished before 2nd Sharing session on Sunday 10 :45-13 :00
      • Breakout: 08 :30-10 :15 Sunday
        •  Identify specific next-steps for database development
        • Assign names and/or identify leaders of working groups and initiatives
        • Identify issues that would benefit from addressing in a different/additional DHW session


Edited by Brenda Bonnett

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