DNA Identification of Feline Blood Types

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Published March 2007

The Winn Feline Foundation is pleased to announce the identification of the DNA mutations that cause the A and B blood types of the domestic cat.

The Winn Feline Foundation assisted in the funding of an international research team that included investigators from the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Istituto di Zootecnica - Vetogene Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan, and the Oy Triniini Company in Helsinki, Finland.

Specific mutations have been shown to be 100% concordant with the type A and type B blood groups from cats of various breeds, including Birman, British Shorthair, Devon Rex, and Ragdoll from the United States and Europe. The causative mutation for the third blood type, the rare type AB, remains to be identified, although the research suggests it to be a novel third allele.

Breeders will now be able to identify the major blood groups of the cat with a simple buccal swab test, as well as identification of cats that carry the recessive type B.

The U.C. Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory is offering the new test.

Breeders interested in assisting in the research to identify the mutation causing the type AB blood group should contact Dr. Leslie Lyons at felinegenome@ucdavis.edu.

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