Genetic and environmental risk factors for canine atopic dermatitis evaluated in a population of owned Labrador and Golden retrievers

Presenter Naomi Harvey
Authors Naomi D. Harvey (1), Steve Shaw (1,2), Gary C.W. England (1), Peter J. Craigon (1) and Sarah Blott (1)
Affiliations 1 School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Leicestershire, United Kingdom; 2 UK VetDerm, 16 Talbot Street, Whitwick, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Presentation Type Talk


Canine atopic dermatitis (cAD) is a common clinical syndrome with no definitive diagnostic tests, which causes marked morbidity and has a high economic impact. Past efforts at evaluating the epidemiology and genetics of cAD have relied upon extensive clinical examination to identify subjects, which has limited sample sizes. In this study, we created a novel questionnaire for completion by Labrador (LR)and Golden retriever (GR) owners to evaluate canine skin health with respect to the clinical signs of cAD. A total of 4,111 dogs were registered to take part in the study, for which the owners fully completed the questionnaire (2,803 LR and 1,308 GR). Cases were identified as dogs whose owners reported a veterinary diagnosis of cAD and controls were identified as having no current or past clinical signs of cAD and aged over 3 years. Epidemiological analyses using multivariate logistic regression revealed the most salient environmental risk factors for cAD in a dog of these breeds was being reared in an urban environment, being male, being neutered, receiving flea control, and being allowed on upholstered furniture. Protective factors included living with other dogs and walking in woodlands, fields or beaches. To investigate genetic risk factors associated with the disease 784 owners of cases and controls were invited to participate in a genetic study. A total of 581 (287 cases and 294 controls) pet dogs balanced for breed between purebred Labradors and Golden retrievers were genotyped using the Illumina CanineHD BeadChip covering more than 230,000 SNPs. We will present the results from a genome-wide association analysis conducted to estimate the proportion of genetic variance attributable to the SNPs on each chromosome using restricted maximum likelihood (REML) and will report upon genome regions and SNPs significantly associated with cAD.