Tare Genetiche del Bovino


(Genetic Disease of Cattle)

  Italian version

Esempi di possibili malattie genetiche

Over the past few decades, the strong inbreeding in the bovine population, and we can say practically in all productive breeds, has increased the risk of the occurrence of genetic diseases.

One of the most important problem that should be taken into account when we deal with a new genetic disease is that once the disorder has finally been discovered, that means has finally been diagnosed and recognized as inherited, the allelic frequency of this recessives might have already reached high values in the population of the affected breed. In fact after a genetic mutation has occurred in one animal (the one we can call the founder of the disease), the corresponding defect appears only when a descendant carrier sire (male) and a descendant carrier dam (female) (both descendants from that founder) are mated.
And this can be many years later; and in the meanwhile, and especially if the sire has been widely used, the defective allele has been already spread out in the population.



There is then another problem that can limit the recognition and the perception of the diffusion of some genetic defects, and this especially if it corresponds to a congenital and lethal malformation: this problem is the fact that many malformed animals are destroyed without being referred to the veterinarians or to diagnostic centres.

In this part of the website I would like to present a selection of the most important genetic diseases of cattle. The diseases are presented according to the principal body system affected.

An article on the genetic diseases of cattle which has been recently published in the Slovenian Veterinary Research can be downloaded.