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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Newly identified genetic variant in dogs reveals insights into early lung disease, provides clues about similar disease in humans

April 7, 2020 GMT
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Wisdom Health Logo
Wisdom Health Logo
Wisdom Health Logo
Wisdom Health Logo

VANCOUVER, Wash., April 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- WISDOM HEALTH™ Genetics - the world’s leader in pet genetics and makers of the WISDOM PANEL™ dog DNA test, announced today the publication in PLOS Genetics of a study conducted by the University of Helsinki with support from the Wisdom Health Labs.

The study, Recessive missenseLAMP3variant associated with defect in lamellar bodybiogenesis and fatal neonatal interstitial lung disease in dogs, identifies LAMP3 as a gene associated with a developmental lung disease in Airedale Terriers.


“This discovery has significant potential value for both veterinary and human medicine alike because of the similarities between canine and human genetics,” said Dr. Jonas Donner, PhD, Discovery Manager at Wisdom Health. “The study of lung disease in Airedale Terriers provides clues to identifying genetic causes of human disease.”

This neonatal lung disorder is novel to Airedale Terriers but resembles the most serious forms of the lung disease in human infants.

“By understanding the symptoms, pathology and the specific genetic variant causing the disease in puppies, we will be able to not only assist in the development of a veterinary diagnostic test for this disease and promote responsible breeding practices, but the findings can also help human health researchers better understand the fatal disease affecting human infants,” said Dr. Donner.


The discoveries of the variants associated with this lung disease can provide potential benefits to both humans and dogs alike. As a result of advancements in gene technologies and strict selective breeding practices, genetic studies in dogs continue to help researchers better understand corresponding human diseases.

Beyond the potential positive impact to human medicine, this discovery can also aid in the development of veterinary diagnostic tests, like those included in the WISDOM PANEL™ Genetic Health Screening test.

“We are incredibly proud to support the University of Helsinki on research efforts that both directly improve the lives of pets today and might pave the way to future discoveries in human health tomorrow,” said Dr. Rebecca Chodroff Foran, R&D Director at Wisdom Health. “Studies like these power the science behind the WISDOM PANEL™ Genetic Health Tests, empowering pet parents with the information they need to make the best decisions for their furry family members.”

About the LAMP3 Variant-Associated Lung Disease Study

  • Researchers at the University of Helsinki and Wisdom Health have described a novel lung disorder in newborn Airedale Terrier dogs with a similar pathology to a rare lung surfactant dysfunction in newborn humans.

  • Using transmission electron microscopy to examine diseased lungs, the researchers found that the affected puppies had defects in their lungs’ secretory organelles causing respiratory distress and ultimately failure. The puppies diagnosed with the lung disease did not live past the first days, or in some cases weeks, of their lives.

  • Through a genome-wide association study and whole exome sequencing, researchers identified a recessive variant in the lysosome associated membrane LAMP3 gene, which encodes a protein within the organelles producing cytoplasmic surfactant.

  • In addition to contributing to the fundamental understanding of lamellar body biology, the study identifies LAMP3 as a novel candidate gene for human surfactant disorders.

About the Wisdom Health Business
The Wisdom Health business mission is to facilitate responsible pet care by enhancing the well-being and relationship between pets and pet parents, providing valuable insights into pets as individuals through the power of their DNA. WISDOM PANEL™ dog DNA tests - backed by the WISDOM HEALTH™ scientific research - can help pet parents plan better, care smarter, and love longer. For more than a decade, WISDOM HEALTH™ scientific research contributed to develop state-of-the-art genetic tests for companion animals, revolutionizing personalized pet care. By unlocking the secrets of their dog or cat’s DNA, pet parents and veterinarians can work together to tailor wellness programs that fit the one-of-a-kind needs of their pet. WISDOM PANEL™ products are recommended by veterinarians, and the tests are currently offered by 7000+ veterinarians worldwide. For more information, visit, or follow the WISDOM PANEL™ Brand on Facebook and Instagram.

About Kinship Labs
Advances in science, technology, health and nutrition offer an opportunity to transform the $100B+ pet care industry. With industry-leading data and analytics capabilities, a $100M venture fund and pioneering startup accelerator program, unique set of technology businesses like Whistle Labs and Wisdom Health, Kinship Labs is building the first-of-its-kind coalition of partners to transform the future of pet care. Kinship Labs is a business division of Mars Petcare, the global leader in pet health, nutrition and services, dedicated to one purpose: A BETTERWORLD FOR PETS. Follow @kinshipco to learn more.

About Mars Petcare
Part of Mars, Incorporated, a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love, the 85,000 Associates across 50+ countries in Mars Petcare are dedicated to one purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. With 85 years of experience, our portfolio of almost 50 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of the world’s pets – including brands PEDIGREE®,WHISKAS®,ROYALCANIN®,NUTRO,GREENIES,SHEBA®,CESAR®,IAMS and EUKANUBA as well as the Waltham Petcare Science Institute which has advanced research in the nutrition and health of pets for over 50 years. Mars Petcare is also a leading veterinary health provider through an international network of over 2,000 pet hospitals and diagnostic services including BANFIELD,BLUEPEARL,VCA,Linnaeus,AniCura and Antech. We’re also active in innovation and technology for pets, with WISDOM PANEL genetic health screening and DNA testing for dogs, the WHISTLE GPS dog tracker, and LEAP VENTURE STUDIO accelerator and COMPANION FUND programs that drive innovation and disruption in the pet care industry. As a family business and guided by our principles, we are privileged with the flexibility to fight for what we believe in – and we choose to fight for our purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.

Media Contact:
Liz Reilly

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SOURCE Wisdom Health