At AloraCats, we like to stay current with medical and genetic updates regarding bengal and savannah cat breeds. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a common genetic trait that causes blindness in the bengal breed. Below is the latest from the UC Davis Website: UC Davis PRA Test.
Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-b)
Temporarily on Hold 4-8 Weeks
The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory has very recent evidence that a small percentage of results for the Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-b) test reported as PRA/PRA is not accurate. We also believe that N/N and PRA/N results are correct as issued.
As this test is based on cutting-edge research, it was validated on a subset of the cat population. Performing this test on a larger number of cats has likely uncovered additional genetic variation that the current test did not take into account.
Accuracy of our results is paramount, and we are putting a temporary hold on testing of new samples until our investigation is complete. Identification of the issue, new assay design, and validation may take 4 to 8 weeks, and we will begin offering the test again once we are confident in its accuracy and reliability. At that time we will verify every result already issued, and update all of our Bengal clients via email and website.
We hope for your patience during the next few weeks. However, if you would like a refund for Bengal PRA-b testing, please contact us, and we will process that immediately.
This is a situation that can happen with genetic test development, especially with hybrid cats. We will proceed with this testing as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Bengal cats have an inherited progressive retinal atrophy similar in presentation and progression to retinitis pigmentosa in humans. Clinical onset can be observed as early as 11 weeks with variable progression of photoreceptor degeneration. In a colony segregating for the disease, terminal retinal degeneration ranged from 60 to 143 weeks. Gradual progression and environment adaptation by affected cats may obscure recognition of the condition by owners. The disease is inherited in an autosomal recessive fashion thus two copies of the defective gene must be present for the disease to manifest and both sexes are equally affected. Carriers, cats with a single copy of the defective gene, exhibit no signs of degeneration. Mating between two carrier cats is expected to produce 25% affected kittens.
Research by Dr. B. Gandolfi in the laboratory of Dr. Leslie Lyons, University of Missouri, identified the mutation associated with PRA-b. The VGL offers a DNA test for PRA-b to assist owners and breeders in identifying affected and carrier cats.
The Bengal PRA DNA test is recommended for the Bengal breed and breeds using Bengal cats in breeding programs.
Procedure for collecting a feline DNA sample
ORDER TEST | PRICE LIST
Allow 2-6 business days for results.
Results reported as:
||Progressive Retinal Atrophy-Persian Derived (PRA-pd)
||Normal – no copies of the PRA-b mutation
||Carrier – 1 copy of the PRA-b mutation; vision will be normal
||Affected – 2 copies of the PRA-b mutation; cat will develop clinical signs of Bengal PRA