The CHIC DNA Repository collects and stores samples of canine DNA, together with corresponding genealogical and phenotypic information, to facilitate future research and testing for reducing the incidence of inherited disease in dogs.
The ready availability of DNA material for research is gaining importance as technology for utilizing DNA is rapidly expanding. With sufficient deposits in the “DNA Bank” by owners, the CHIC DNA Repository can provide researchers with optimized family groups and control populations needed for their research into canine health.
As research advances, breeders can take advantage of future DNA-based disease tests. This potential remains with a DNA deposit even after a dog is deceased. If a deleterious gene is discovered in an offspring of a deceased dog, a DNA screening test on the stored sample can determine the presence or absence of the gene in the ancestor and thus whether other progeny might be at risk.
The CHIC DNA Repository can foster a team environment among breeders, owners and the researchers to increase the likelihood of genetic discovery.
Blood is the gold standard for genetic material. The yield of DNA from a blood sample is sufficient for all research methods, including technologies on the horizon. Moreover, the stability and purity of the DNA is of the highest caliber, which offers many benefits.
While banking of blood samples for DNA has advantages, it also has the drawbacks of cost and invasiveness of drawing the blood.
The banking organization, in this case CHIC, incurs the cost of extracting the DNA from the blood sample, of entering data from a phenotypic questionnaire about the donor-dog submitted with the sample and on-going surveys that follow the health status of the dog, and of storage and inventory control for samples and data.
The cost to the owner is $20.00 to purchase the test kit from CHIC plus the veterinary expense of drawing the blood and shipping the frozen sample.
Cheek swab samples are less expensive and less invasive than blood samples, but the yield and purity of DNA derived from cheek samples is inferior to that obtained from blood.
A swab kit can be purchased from CHIC for $5.00, and the samples can be taken by the owner without the expense of a veterinary office call. Swabs are shipped in standard envelopes through the U.S. Postal Service, and they can be stored for at least a decade at room temperature, so long as they are stored under conditions of low humidity. The success rate for obtaining DNA from a swab in the laboratory is roughly 98%, so multiple swabs should be submitted for each dog to ensure representation in the archive.
Breed specific advantages of accumulating adequate samples in the CHIC DNA Repository are twofold:
- it increases the likelihood that a researcher will choose to use our breed for their project because of the readily accessible study population and,
- because the phenotypic health of donor dogs is followed, it can act to raise an early alarm as a disease begins to infiltrate our breed.
To Participate in the CHIC DNA Repository the application form can be downloaded from http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/dnabank.html
You will receive the appropriate swab or blood collection kit in the mail. The health survey, which will accompany the sample deposit, will also be found on-line.