This genetic test identifies cattle at high risk of developing pulmonary hypertension at high altitudes (often called “brisket disease”). Brisket disease afflicts about 5% of cattle at high altitudes and the current predictive test for at-risk cattle is a measure of pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP). This current PAP test has some major drawbacks. First, it is an invasive test.
Secondly, it is not accurate at lower elevations – so at-risk cattle cannot identified before incurring the cost of transport to high altitude. There is no treatment for the disease except prompt removal of the animal to lower elevations. This technology measures genetic variants that confer susceptibility to brisket disease, and could be developed into a diagnostic or a prognostic test for use prior to shipping cattle to higher elevations or in breeding operations.
A patent application has been filed.