PNA Breakthrough!

(The following great news was originally viewed on the USKBTC elist. Permission was given by Scott Kellogg to post to the website.)

September 14, 2004
Dear USKBTC members:

I am VERY excited to announce that the SPECIFIC DEFECTIVE GENE, that produces PNA (progressive neuronal abiotrophy), HAS BEEN DISCOVERED by researchers at the University of Missouri’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Gary Johnson contacted me this evening and announced the news, and authorized its dissemination. Drs. Johnson and Dennis O’Brien have been working on the search for this defect, and have found the EXACT DEFECTIVE GENE, as confirmatory research concluded today. They will begin testing for PNA immediately. A 3 ml EDTA blood sample is required for the PNA test.

Submission instructions can be found at the following website, (They do not have a PNA website as of yet.): Click on the sample submission button on the left side of the margin, and follow the directions, as if sending a blood sample for epilepsy submissions. (The lab will set up a separate PNA website later on.)

Liz Hanson of their lab will be handling blood submissions. There is no charge (at this time) for testing, due to the fact that the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club is participating in the Canine Phenome project being conducted by the University.

If you are interested in donating to the Canine Phenome project fund, go to the Charitable Funds section of

This PNA test will determine if your dog is a carrier of the defective gene that produces PNA–thus determining if your dog is a carrier or not. By careful breeding of either 1)carrier to non-carrier, or 2) non-carrier to non-carrier, the production of the PNA disease can be stopped. Since this is a simple recessive gene, PNA is produced only when a carrier animal is bred to a carrier animal. Carrier animals can be bred with no possibility of PNA being produced, as long as they are bred to non-carrier animals.

Many thanks are to be extended to Drs. Johnson and O’Brien and their laboratory staff, club member Jana Deaton, for her work with PNA in the recent years, Zippy Fleischer for her many years of work previously, Dr. de La Hunta of Cornell for his initial research of the disease and pathology work thereafter, and Kerry and Chinese Crested breeders who have assisted with PNA research.

Additional information will be posted at the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club website in the coming days.

Dr. Johnson will be presenting a seminar sponsored by the USKBTC on Saturday, October 2nd following the USKBTC Futurity in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania. He will talking about the Canine Phenome Project and PNA research and testing. The seminar is free. For more information, consult and look under Montgomery County events.

The USKBTC is working to have blood collection for PNA testing available at the Futurity for interested parties. More information will be posted at the website. This is a GREAT, GREAT day for the Kerry Blue Terrier and its fanciers!

Scott Kellogg DVM
USKBTC Health and Genetics
Committee Chairman

Last Updated: 09/14/2004, 11:34 pm