HCM gene identified in ragdolls!!!
- From the CFA list
We are happy to announce that Dr Meurs has found and identified a
causes HCM in Ragdolls. We can now begin testing for this mutation in our
Dr Meurs was hoping to make this announcement herself, but the in
world, she can't say anything until her work is 'peer reviewed' and
a Scientific Journal. It has now been reviewed, and will be in a
that is due out June 15th. After that time, she will make her formal
announcement. Up till this point we have been asked to keep the news
quiet until the big announcement is out. However, with it being posted
website of the University word has been getting out. So we decided to
and announce it, and hope people will understand that Dr Meurs can't
The lack of formal announcement won't make any difference to you
though, as the
test can be done without the announcement from her. We just want you to
understand where this is coming from. On the website
are the directions for obtaining the swabs to do the test with, and
how to send
in blood (recommended for nursing kittens). The prices for the test
also, along with FAQ's that you should take time to read.
Ester, Dr Meur's assistant, has agreed to come on The Open Forum List
questions that may not be covered on the FAQ. She said she will try to
list a minimum of once a week, so we have to be patient with our
(the committee) will try to answer any questions that come up in the
if we have the answers.
There are three possible outcomes for the test. One is negative. This
best. The other two are Positive/Hetrozygous (Pos/Het) meaning that
the cat is
carrying one mutation for HCM, and Positive/Homozygous (Pos/Homo)
cat is carrying two copies. As of now, we do not have any statistics as to
whether one mutation will not cause HCM, or cause it later in life,
will come when we have enough cats tested so we can gather that info.
we can agree that it is better for us if the cat only has one mutation
than two, because it can be bred out in only one generation, but
that's all we
can say about it at this time.
There are two important things Ester would like to pass on. One is,
AVERAGE turn around time for the tests is 2 weeks, but that is not
stone. Sometimes there is a mistake in cutting out the DNA for the
something else goes wrong, and they have to retest the swab. The
she says is that it is important to remember is that this test is ONE
STEP in a
decision on which cats to keep and which cats not to keep. DO NOT DO
RASH when you get your results.
In the Maine Coon, the statistics show that about 35% of the Maine
the mutation, with just 4% having two copies. This is too large of a
the breed to cut out all cats with one mutation. The recommendation is
cats that are Pos/Het with a Negative cat, and keep a replacement that
negative. To simply wipe out one third of the breed could do more harm
good. Ester will talk more about this when she gets on the list.
This is wonderful news for all of us, and our hard work raising money
research is paying off. Congratulations everyone. Great Job. However, this
doesn't mean we can stop the research now. There could be other
there. This is a good start.
Hopefully all of us will work together, without finger pointing, to
this mutation from our breed. It will be a long and hard path to this
it will be worth it. So let's all work on getting our cats tested, and
to rid our breed of this particular problem as quickly, but as safely
as we can.
Up until now, trying to find out which cats have HCM and which don't,
quess work. Now we have a real tool to work with. Remember that we will
probably all be affected by the findings, so let's have patience and
other with kindness and compassion, so we can do what is best for the
One more thing. Since there will now be a big rush to have cats
tested, we are
suggesting that only current breeders and litters be tested at this
pets or alters should be done until we get the majority of breeder
There will be time for pets and alters later.
Please pass this on to other lists that you may be on. It's important for
everyone to know about this.
Your HCM Fundraising Committee