Foal Immunodeficiency Syndrome Test Available From Gluck

Foal Immunodeficiency Syndrome Test Available From Gluck

Mutation carriers show no outward signs, so it is important to determine if a horse is a carrier prior to breeding.

Photo: Thomas Lunzer/Wikimedia Commons

Genetic Testing (GeT) at Gluck is now offering a test for foal immunodeficiency syndrome (FIS).

Foal immunodeficiency syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder, meaning an affected foal must receive a copy of the mutation from each parent. The mutation occurs in the SLC5A3 gene and results in a B lymphocyte deficiency. Affected foals cannot produce their own antibodies and eventually succumb to infection as maternal antibodies supplied by the mare’s colostrum dwindle by 3 to 6 weeks of age. Foals either die or fail to thrive to the point that they are euthanized.

About 30% of Fell Ponies and 18% of Dales Ponies are carriers. The syndrome is also found in Gypsy Horses, most likely due to Fell Pony crosses. Since carriers of the mutation show no outward signs, it is important to determine if a horse is a carrier for this mutation prior to breeding.

The cost is $45 for each test. Submission forms and instructions are available at getgluck.ca.uky.edu/content/submission-forms.

For more information or questions, contact Kathryn Graves, PhD, GeT director, at 859/218-1193 or ktgraves@uky.edu.

Jenny Evans, MFA, is the senior veterinary science marketing and promotion specialist at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center.


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