Associations between gastric dilatation-volvulus in Great Danes and specific alleles of the canine immune-system genes DLA88, DRB1, and TLR5.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


American journal of veterinary research, Volume 78, Issue 8, p.934-945 (2017)


Comparative Medicine Core Facility


OBJECTIVE To determine whether specific alleles of candidate genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and innate immune system were associated with gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in Great Danes. ANIMALS 42 healthy Great Danes (control group) and 39 Great Danes with ≥ 1 GDV episode. PROCEDURES Variable regions of the 2 most polymorphic MHC genes (DLA88 and DRB1) were amplified and sequenced from the dogs in each group. Similarly, regions of 3 genes associated with the innate immune system (TLR5, NOD2, and ATG16L1), which have been linked to inflammatory bowel disease, were amplified and sequenced. Alleles were evaluated for associations with GDV, controlling for age and dog family. RESULTS Specific alleles of genes DLA88, DRB1, and TLR5 were significantly associated with GDV. One allele of each gene had an OR > 2 in the unadjusted univariate analyses and retained a hazard ratio > 2 after controlling for temperament, age, and familial association in the multivariate analysis. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The 3 GDV-associated alleles identified in this study may serve as diagnostic markers for identification of Great Danes at risk for GDV. Additional research is needed to determine whether other dog breeds have the same genetic associations. These findings also provided a new target for research into the etiology of, and potential treatments for, GDV in dogs.