, Volume 66, Issue 5, pp 311–324 | Cite as

Genetics of canine anal furunculosis in the German shepherd dog

  • Jonathan Massey
  • Andrea D. Short
  • Brian Catchpole
  • Arthur House
  • Michael J. Day
  • Hannes Lohi
  • William E. R. Ollier
  • Lorna J. Kennedy
Original Paper


Canine anal furunculosis (AF) is characterised by ulceration and fistulation of perianal tissue and is a disease that particularly affects German shepherd dogs (GSDs). There are some similarities between AF and perianal Crohn’s disease (CD) in man. An immune-mediated aetiopathogenesis for AF has been suggested due to tissue pathology, a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) association and clinical response to ciclosporin. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) can be conducted in dogs with fewer markers and individuals than would be required in a human study. A discovery GWAS was performed on 21 affected and 25 control GSDs from the UK. No SNPs reached genome-wide significance levels at this stage. However, 127 nominally associated SNPs were genotyped in further 76 cases and 191 controls from the UK and Finland. Sequencing of these regions was undertaken to discover novel genetic variation. Association testing of these variants in the UK and Finnish cohorts revealed nine significantly associated SNPs, six of which cause non-synonymous changes in protein sequence. The ADAMTS16 and CTNND2 gene regions were most significantly associated with disease. Members of the butyrophilin protein family, important in intestinal inflammatory regulation, were also associated with disease, but their independence from the MHC region remains to be established. The CTNND2 gene region is also interesting as this locus was implicated in human ulcerative colitis and CD, albeit at a different candidate gene: DAP. We suggest that this represents a common association between inflammatory bowel disease-related conditions in both species and believe that future studies will strengthen this link.


Canine anal furunculosis German shepherd dog Crohn’s disease Perianal Inflammatory bowel disease 



We would like to acknowledge the Kennel Club (UK) for funding the GWAS, the American Kennel Club for funding the GWAS replication and sequencing and the University of Manchester for funding the sequencing confirmation study (through an ‘Investing in Success’ award made to JM). We thank Turlough O’Neill for diagnosing many of the UK samples and Hazel Platt for assistance with genotyping. We would also like to extend thanks to the technical staff supporting the UK DNA Archive for Companion Animals.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Massey
    • 1
  • Andrea D. Short
    • 1
  • Brian Catchpole
    • 2
  • Arthur House
    • 3
    • 7
  • Michael J. Day
    • 4
  • Hannes Lohi
    • 5
    • 6
  • William E. R. Ollier
    • 1
  • Lorna J. Kennedy
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research (CIGMR), Institute of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Human SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases, Royal Veterinary CollegeUniversity of LondonHatfieldUK
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary CollegeUniversity of LondonHatfieldUK
  4. 4.School of Veterinary SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  5. 5.Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Research Programs Unit, Molecular NeurologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  6. 6.The Folkhälsan Institute of GeneticsHelsinkiFinland
  7. 7.Centre for Animal Referral and EmergencyCollingwoodAustralia

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