Jun 12, 2009
by WLJ


Pfizer Animal Genetics now running Neuropathic Hydrocephalus test

Pfizer Animal Genetics is now offering a new diagnostic test for the genetic defect Neuropathic Hydrocephalus (NH). In collaboration with Dr. Jon Beever at the University of Illinois, Dr. David Steffen at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, and the American Angus Association (AAA), the gene mutation responsible for NH has been identified and a commercial test has been developed and validated. Additionally, Pfizer Animal Genetics has been approved by AAA as an NH testing laboratory.

“Our team has worked diligently to offer this commercial NH test to the industry as quickly as possible,” says Nigel Evans, vice president of Animal Genetics, a business unit of Pfizer Animal Health. “By collaborating with industry partners, we are able to offer NH-defect testing and can work with producers to help reduce the impact of this genetic defect.”

Pfizer Animal Genetics has proactively worked to expand its testing capacity in order to provide results to producers in a timely manner. Samples are being tested in the order in which they are received at the new laboratory located in

Kalamazoo, MI. For each animal tested for NH before Sept. 30, 2009, producers will earn a $10 credit towards future GeneSTAR MVP testing. These credits must be redeemed before Dec. 15, 2009. GeneSTAR MVPs are molecular value predictions for the economically relevant traits of feed efficiency, marbling and tenderness.

Producers are encouraged to visit www.pfizeranimal for order forms and a sample collection guide, and also to view ongoing updates and answers to frequently asked questions about NH testing. Additional questions may be answered by Customer Service at 877/233-3362.

A lethal genetic defect, NH affects Angus and Angusinfluenced cattle. Calves carrying two recessive genes— resulting from the mating of two carrier animals—are born dead with an extremely large cranium with little or no brain matter or spinal cord. It is probable that a large percentage of mortalities relating to NH occur through embryonic or fetal loss during gestation, which causes the defect to go misdiagnosed or unnoticed. For a list of results from A.I. bulls that have already been tested, please visit — WLJ