Canine Fanconi Syndrome Research

This research project to identify a DNA marker (or markers) for Fanconi Syndrome in Basenjis is funded by a grant from the Canine Health Foundation (Active Grant #2462). The CHF grant is supported by the Basenji Club of America, whose members have made this research a priority.

The long term goal of this research project is to find the gene or genes responsible for Fanconi Syndrome in Basenjis and make a test available so that wise breeding practices can reduce the incidence of this disease. We also hope that with early identification of dogs destined to become affected, treatment can be initiated early to prevent as much damage to the organs as possible and prevent suffering.

Specific objectives for this project are as follows;

  1. Recruit information and isolate DNA from Basenjis with Fanconi Syndrome and their close relatives (siblings, parents, grandparents, and offspring).
  2. Evaluate variant sequences in mitochondrial DNA from affected Basenjis as possible causes of Fanconi Syndrome.
  3. Use linkage analysis to evaluate a candidate region of a human gene which causes Fanconi Syndrome in people, and if necessary, extend the evaluation to cover the entire chromosome.

Progress to Date

As of July 1, 2003, samples from 489 individual Basenjis are banked at the Univeristy of Missouri. Of these, 155 individuals have been identified as members of families with Fanconi Syndrome, and 36 of these are affected with the disease. An equal number of males and females are affected in the dogs under study. As samples and information arrive, families are assembled and included in the marker screening research. Samples from both affected and normal Basenjis from families where Fanconi Syndrome has appeared are still needed, and we encourage owners and breeders to participate.

We are also interested in samples and information from affected dogs and their immediate relatives in breeds other than Basenjis where Fanconi Syndrome has been diagnosed and may be an inherited trait.

How Can I Help?

Participate in the research. If you own a Basinji or other breed of dog with Fanconi Syndrome, please send information and samples. Owners of dogs related to the affected dog should also be encouraged to send samples - ideally we would like samples from the affected dog, plus the siblings, parents, and grandparents (if they are still living). If the affected dog has been used for breeding, all the offspring plus the second parent of the pups should be sampled. Half-siblings, aunts, uncles, and other relatives may also be useful. For more information on dogs that should be sampled, please see Useful Research Families. All information is held in strict confidence - the names of individual owners and dogs will not be revealed by the University of Missouri researchers. Forms and instructions for participating can be printed from the SAMPLE SUBMISSION section of this website, or upon request will be mailed or faxed to you.

Tell other breeders, owners, and veterinarians about this project. With later onset diseases such as this, often we are not able to completely sample ideal research families. Many families will be needed for this research. Owners and breeders can inform others of the research through club newsletters, club and personal websites, and personal communication. Please tell your veterinarian about the research and this website, so that when they have other clients with affected dogs they can encourage them to participate as well.

Help to fund the research through donations to the Canine Health Foundation, and the Basenji Club of America. The grant from CHF that funds this research is dependent upon donations from the BCOA and individuals. Donations of any amount are helpful. All CHF donations are tax deductible.