A genetic test for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) has been developed for Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which causes an autosomal recessive blindness in Bengal cats. The disease causes the destruction of the cells that register light (photoreceptors) in the back of the eye (the retina). The loss of the cells begins around 7 weeks of age and slowly progresses until the cat has very compromised vision by approximately 2 years of age. However, blindness develops at different rates in different cats. We have examples of cats over 2 years of age chasing a laser pointer; however vision testing by an ophthalmologist indicated that the cats should be blind. Blind cats tend to have more difficulty at night, sometimes becoming more vocal and more attached to their owners. The pupils are usually more dilated for affected cats than for cats with normal vision in the same lighting conditions. Affected cats also tend to carry their whiskers in a more forward position. Once affected cats know their surroundings, they are very mobile and active.
Test specific information
This test is performed by UCDavis.
Symptoms will develop at a young age. Within a few hours to a maximum of several weeks after birth, the characteristics that go with these genetic effects will become visible.
The Turnaround Time (TAT) depends on various factors, such as the shipment time of your sample to the test location, the test method(s) and whether the tests are performed completely or partially by a Partner Lab or Patent owner.
The TAT of tests performed at our facilities is normally 10 working days after receipt of the sample at the testing laboratory (VHL, VHP or Certagen). For tests performed by a Partner Laboratory (so-called "partner lab test") or patent owner, the TAT is at least 20 working days after receipt of your sample. Because the shipment time to our Partner Labs or patent owner may vary due to factors we cannot influence, the mentioned 20 working days are therefore an estimate.
Sometimes it is necessary to re-run your sample. We call this a retest. In that case, the TAT will of course be extended.
Location of disease or trait
This disease mainly affects vision, and may result in blindness.
This DNA test is available for the following breeds: Bengal. Additional information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
For this DNA test we accept the following materials: Blood EDTA, Blood Heparin, Semen, Swab, Tissue. Please contact Dr. Van Haeringen Laboratorium if you wish to submit other material as listed.
An animal can be free and has in that situation two healthy alleles. When used in breeding this animal will not become ill due to the disease. It cannot spread the disease in the population.
An animal can be carrier and has in that situation one healthy and one disease allele. When used in breeding 50 percent of the offspring will receive the disease allele. Carriers will not become ill.
An animal can be affected and has in that situation two disease alleles. When used in breeding all offspring will also receive the disease allele. Affected will become ill.
This genetic factor is inherited in an autosomal, recessive, mode. This means, that the individual can be free of the disease (homozygote normal), affected (homozygous affected) or carrier (heterozygous).
Carriers may spread the mutation in a population without showing symptoms themselves. Because of this, it is extremely important to identify carriers correctly to prevent spreading of a mutation.
Severity of Disease