Saturday, 1 June 2013

Research Update

  • A descriptive case report covering the clinical signs of HWSS and the pedigree research has been submitted for publication to the relevant, top peer reviewed journal available.  This paper has been accepted subject to some re-writing requests by the peer reviewers.  Such re-writing requests is normal procedure for peer reviewed publications.  Once the research paper has been published the on-line address for the abstract will be posted on this blog.

  • a paper written by Tom Ryan (FWCF)  has been accepted for publication by Forge.  Forge the industry magazine for farriers and is sent to all farriers in the UK and by subscription to others around the world.  Tom has indicated that once publication in Forge has occurred he will be sending the paper to be circulated via this blog.  In his paper he deals with the issues of  hoof care to maintain quality of  life for HWSS affected ponies.

  • The Havemeyer Foundation sponsored  10th International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop   is taking place in July in Portugal.   The Bannasch Laboratory will be there presenting their latest research on the HWSS issue.  Participants are invited to this prestigious workshop; just getting an invite to attend is an honour in itself.  To be one of the presenters validates the research work done to date.

  • Over the summer the humongous quantity of data generated by the genomics work will be analysed in depth.  The computing requirements for such work is in the multi-terabyte arena, which is way beyond the capacity of all but a few computers in the world.  To access such a facility computer time has to be booked in advance. Booking ahead is a best guess option as to time scale and is judged on when a facility was needed in similar areas of research. As it turns out because the initial answers were so cut and dried on the HWSS project, the research has run ahead of the expected schedule. Further rapid progress has been constrained because of the need to wait for this pre-booked computer access.

  • Another native pony breed with a genetic problem - The Fell has posted an update on their progress.  Their research to find the genetic marker commenced in 2005 with the mutation being located in 2009.  The test became available 3 years ago in 2010.If you wish to read more about the Fell pony research below are some links.  The process is quite proscribed. 
  1. The first step is to publicise the emergence of a new condition to the veterinary profession; Immunoglobulin and peripheral B-lymphocyte concentrations in Fell pony foal syndrome.  
  2. One then demonstrates that the problem is not confined to one geographical area but extends through the total genepool; The Fell pony immunodeficiency syndrome also occurs in the Netherlands: a review and six cases. 
  3. The genetic research is performed and reported and published; Identification of a mutation associated with fatal Foal Immunodeficiency Syndrome in the Fell and Dales pony.
  4. Having found the mutation the effects at the cellular level can be established; Fell Pony syndrome: characterization of developmental hematopoiesis failure and associated gene expression profiles.
  5. The outcome; Foal Immunodeficiency Syndrome: carrier testing has markedly reduced disease incidence or put another way A recent report shows what can be achieved when scientists and horse breeders work together
  • When one looks at the timescale involved with the  HWSS research much has been achieved in a very short time.  Unlike the situation with HWSS, the Fell Pony Syndrome (FPS) research had the backing, financially, morally and ethically from the Fell Pony Society and the Rare Breeds Trust; it also involved a large 'buy in' from the breeders themselves. 

The Connemara Pony Research Group would like to think that the scientific progress in this research is now sufficiently advanced that all societies, breeders and owners will now take this problem seriously and start making plans on how we as a community are going to use this information to preserve and protect our beloved Connemara pony. It is our hope that the CPBS and the ICCPS will see fit to invite Dr Carrie Finno to Ireland this year to present her HWSS research at an open public forum during  the Clifden Festival in August 2013.
Feel free to offer comment and helpful suggestions on the HWSS Facebook page.HWSS (Hoof Wall Separation Syndrome)