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Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi

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Everything posted by Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi

  1. HGTD This Week: NEW feature - Key Comments In our continued effort to improve HGTD, we have a new addition to our breed-specific testing information. Complementing the Breed Relevance Ratings, the new Key Comments feature highlights in the breed search, any tests that have a comment related to the relevance of the test for that breed. Users can then click through to the phenes information to not only read the Key Comment, but also other general, and breed-specific information about the phene. Key comments are sourced from the researchers or test developers, as well as relevant experts.
  2. As part of IPFD's support of new research and research participation, we welcome this guest blog by Quinn Rausch. The Puppy Project is an opportunity for breeders in the US and CA to contribute to important research on puppy socialization and behaviour development. The content of this blog, including external links and all information was provided by Quinn Rausch, and all questions should be directed to them. Background to the Puppy Project To what extent does a young puppy’s experiences affect their behaviour later in life? Every year thousands of puppies are purchased in Canada an
  3. This article talks about two common terms used in dog breeding, and as part of strategies for impacting genetic diversity. Though sometimes used interchangeably, and used to mean multiple different practices, understanding the differences in the terms and the potential application in breeding programs is one tool dog breeders can use to change and improve genetic diversity.
  4. Recently we received a question from a Harmonization of Genetic Testing (HGTD) user, who had wanted to use an "Ancestry" genetic test to determine a puppy's likely sire. It is not uncommon, when trying to determine the right test for your purposes, to mistake "Ancestry" tests for parentage, or genetic identification tests. The information below talks about what ancestry, or breed mix genetic tests are, how they can be used, and some of the limitations. What is an Ancestry/Breed Mix Genetic Test for dogs? Ancestry/breed mix tests are a way to estimate what breeds compose your mixed-bree
  5. IPFD and the Canine Health Summit Feb 2021 by Embark Veterinary This Article provides links to resources on DogWellNet and from our partners to support panel discussions that are part of the 1st Annual Canine Health Summit hosted by Embark and the Westminster Kennel Club. For 2021, the event is designed to provide expert content and discussion to dog breeders and all dog enthusiasts, via a virtual conference format. IPFD is involved in 2 live panel discussions (see relevant links and references further below): 1. A Breeder’s Perspective on Canine Health, featuring Dr. Brenda Bo
  6. Breed Relevance Ratings (BRR) are a way to assess the relevance of a specific test for a specific breed, based on the currently best-known information on the research and development of a test - but genetic tests are not limited to pedigree breeds. Genetic tests are used for a variety of reasons on all dogs, and understanding the relevance is important for any purpose-bred dog or breeding program, as well as individual dogs. BRR’s are estimated for all dogs, and where the research is not available for a specific breed or type, we have processes to provide transparent information about test rel
  7. HGTD This Week: NEW Inclusive breed-specific test listings on HGTD In our continued effort to improve HGTD, we have made major changes to our breed-specific genetic test listings. We’ve added a number of new features and information to help owners, breeders, and canine health professionals make the most of the breed-specific test listings. See the updated article: HGTD - What is a Breed Relevance Rating? for more details. NEW Test type descriptions Breed-specific tests are now listed under 4 different categories of tests: Genetic Disease/Disorder, Other Genetic Traits, D
  8. 19 Oct 2020 If you’re a dog owner, or looking for a puppy what does it REALLY mean when a dog is “genetically tested”? “My dog is genetically tested” is an increasingly common statement from dog owners. We see it on breeder’s webpages as part of advertising puppies, or as information on the dam/sire… it’s common on social media as a point of pride or a mark of care and responsibility by owners… but what does genetically tested (or DNA tested) actually mean? While using genetic testing as part of pre-breeding testing is a really valuable tool, a genetically tested dog is not, in itse
  9. Calling All Breed Experts! HGTD’s phenes database and breed relevancy ratings (BRR) are an important source of information for anyone engaged in dog health and breeding, through the harmonizing of scientific data from a wide-variety of experts, research publications, veterinary and genetics researcher contributions, and in-house expertise. Just as important, though, are the contributions from breed experts. Breed experts are individuals with significant knowledge of their breed or breeds. Breed experts are most often breed or kennel club members who work on health and breeding strate
  10. Vets – what can HGTD do for you? Genetic testing is part of our dog's lives Just as genetic testing has become normalized in the human world, thanks to popular direct to consumer products like 23 and Me, or Ancestry.com, so it has in the veterinary world. While perhaps once the preserve of specialist dog breeders, it is increasingly common for vets in practice to have questions from clients about DNA testing. While covering the basics of testing and inheritance is part of many veterinary educations, it is unreasonable to expect anyone to have knowledge of the 300+ different genetic
  11. HGTD This Week, 7 Aug 2020: Canine Crime Scene Investigators When we think about genetic testing, we often focus on how it can be a tool to improve health and welfare - generally centered around breeding for health or finding more about the health or potential health risks for an individual dog. Knowing about health risks that are especially relevant to specific breeds or dog types makes testing even more powerful in helping reduce risks of disease or undesirable traits (see Breed Relevancy Ratings). Most commonly, genetic screening and diagnostic testing focuses on: disease tests, breed e
  12. The Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) project work includes harmonizing genetic test information across many different boundaries. That can be as simple as adding consistency to nomenclature from around the world, or as challenging as cataloging test information and research from dozens of different international sources. With so much variation in how tests are developed, and how they are released to the public, a big part of my work is ensuring that phene names we publish on HGTD are consistent, accurate, and representative of whatever genetic test a person is seeking out.
  13. The continued review of breed-specific tests for assigning relevance ratings, and ongoing discussions with genetic experts has led to a refinement of the breed relevance ratings (please see: BRR) . To better accommodate the spectrum of genetic test validation, we’ve added a new orange BRR. The orange BRR indicates where all current available evidence has been reviewed, but the relevance is inconclusive. It could be that a mutation is detectable in a specific breed, but that there is no evidence that this correlates with clinical development of the disease/phene. It could also be that the
  14. HGTD, and IPFD, were thrilled to be able to send our very best wishes and acknowledgements to Prof Frank Nicholas, on the 25th Anniversary of the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) resource. (see Brenda's Blog) Collaboration with, and integration of OMIA's information is vital for a lot of what HGTD is able to do - and fundamental to animal genetics researchers the world over. OMIA is a catalogue/compendium of inherited disorders, other (single-locus) traits, and genes in 251 animal species. OMIA is a great example of collaboration in action - authored by Professor Frank Nicholas o
  15. HGTD Update: 12 May 2020 Since the last blog, we’ve had additional expert review of many Breed Relevance Ratings (BRRs) – particular in commonly tested eye conditions, and ataxias. As we are growing our expert out-reach for input into BRRs, we are pleased to note that there is consensus between experts self-reviewing their tests as well as peer-reviewing each other. This adds reassurance to us that the current BRR estimation of combining what we can learn from research publications, phene discoverer’s expert opinions, and informal peer-review between geneticists, is working. So far, we ha
  16. We get questions about how we ensure the quality of the information available on HGTD. It can actually be very challenging, and we rely on having good processes, and collaboration when developing content. To meet the IPFD principle of transparency, we are starting a series of blogs to describe how we manage this resource. We hope to then provide a regular news feed on HGTD developments and changes, to give you all an insight into this work. To get started, here is a little insight into running and maintaining HGTD. How do new genetic test providers (GTPs) join? GTPs reach HGTD
  17. Is COVID-time the Right Time to Kon Mari Your Genetic Testing Plans? a blog by Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, MSc; Project Director of the IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) initiative. “People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.” -Marie Kondo, Founder of the Kon Mari method. If you’ve already, like so many of us, used the Kon Mari de-cluttering method of “sparking joy” and being “mindful, introspective, and forwar
  18. A recent article provided by the Golden Retriever Club of America, Golden Retriever Health and Genetics Highlight: Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis in Golden Retrievers, by Ann Hubbs and Ron Rubrecht,, discussed the challenges faced in Fall 2018, by a breeder who had unsuspectingly bred a litter of puppies from two carriers of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL 5) – a devastating neurological disease considered rare in the breed. While a DNA test existed, most Golden Retriever owners wouldn’t be aware of the condition, let alone testing options. The breeder did the absolute right thing when rea
  19. I do not know how parentage and heritable disease testing relate in terms of privacy concerns or crossovers between the 2 - if a dog tests positive for a deleterious genetic mutation (registration of litters denied) & that dog has relatives in a parentage db - can those relatives be subjected to further testing? Ann has sent through some good questions, which I think I can address: Genetic profile-based "kennel clubs" or any registration-type body are going to happen. This process would mean that your dog is registered based on their genetic profile, and any other relatives (an
  20. Dear Aimee, Do you know if the JADD in NSDTR is simple mendelian or complex? UC Davies genetics lab is offering a test. Do you know if it is a reliable test? Do you think the test should be mandatory for NSDTR used for breeding given its early age of onset and serious impact on an affected dog's health and welfare? I would be very grateful for your comments. Kind Regards, Anon UK NSDTR Breeder Dear NSDTR Breeder, It is my understanding that the JADD (Juvenile Addison's Disease) genetic test that is available is a simple inheritance (autosomal recessive) and base
  21. This report is to be viewed as a dynamic document summarizing the pre-thru-post 4th IDHW meeting activities around the Genetic Testing theme. Please note that additions and changes may occur. We will be welcoming comments and suggestions from participants in the workshop and working groups as we move forward. Please contact Aimee at aimee.llewellyn-zaidi@ipfdogs.com.
  22. Jane - I really appreciate your passion and obvious commitment to canine health. Personally, I think we start by doing everything we can to build collaborations between all the stakeholders in canine health, and to do all we can to support and encourage those who are already motivated to make positive changes. Leading by good example, and working together is a very powerful start. Every country has different laws, resources, and challenges to improve dog health, but we are trying to start by sharing the experiences of many different groups from around the world in the hopes that we can all lea
  23. 2019 Lewis TW, Mellersh CS. Changes in mutation frequency of eight Mendelian inherited disorders in eight pedigree dog populations following introduction of a commercial DNA test. Plos One, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209864 DNA Testing - General Subject: DNA Testing Type: Research Journal/Source: peer-reviewed research publication Authors/Researchers: University, Kennel Club (IPFD Partners); HGTD Participants Recommended For: Veterinarians, Owners/Breeders This study is one of the very few to investigate the impact of DNA testing on changing a dog
  24. This article describes the role of Genetic Test Providers (GTPs) in the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) initiative, provides information on who they are and why they participate, and defines processes and levels of participation for current and prospective collaborating GTPs.
  25. Thank you so much for your positive feedback Janean! We really want to help the whole dog community to access useful information, and it is really helpful to us to know when it's been a benefit!
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