Created in Collaboration With the VGL Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-b) (Bengal)

Quick Summary

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) causes an autosomal recessive blindness in Bengal cats by destroying the cells in the back of the eye that register light.

Phenotype: Bengal progressive retinal atrophy is characterized by progressive blindness. The loss of the cells begins around 7 weeks of age and slowly progresses until the cat has very compromised vision by approximately 2 years of age. Blind cats tend to have more difficulty at night, sometimes becoming more vocal and more attached to their owners. The pupils are usually more dilated for affected cats than for cats with normal vision in the same lighting conditions. Affected cats also tend to carry their whiskers in a more forward position.

Mode of Inheritance: Autosomal recessive

Alleles: N = Normal/Unaffected, PRA = Progressive retinal atrophy

Breeds appropriate for testing: Bengal, Savannah Cat, Toyger

Explanation of Results:

  • Cats with N/N genoytpe will not have Bengal progressive retinal atrophy and cannot transmit this PRA-b variant to their offspring.
  • Cats with N/PRA genotype will not have Bengal progressive retinal atrophy, but are carriers. Matings between two carriers are predicted to produce 25% kittens affected by PRA-b.
  • Cats with PRA/PRA genotype will have Bengal progressive retinal atrophy, a condition leading to blindness in Bengal cats, and will transmit this PRA-b variant to all of their offspring.
Price

$40 one test per animal
$65 this test + PK Deficiency test

Additional Details

The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California, Davis in collaboration with the Lyons Feline Genetics and Comparative Medicine Laboratory at the University of Missouri discovered the genetic test for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which causes an autosomal recessive blindness in Bengal cats. The disease causes the destruction of the cells that register light (photoreceptors) in the back of the eye (the retina). The loss of the cells begins around 7 weeks of age and slowly progresses until the cat has very compromised vision by approximately 2 years of age. However, blindness develops at different rates in different cats. We have examples of cats over 2 years of age chasing a laser pointer; however vision testing by an ophthalmologist indicated that the cats should be blind. Blind cats tend to have more difficulty at night, sometimes becoming more vocal and more attached to their owners. The pupils are usually more dilated for affected cats than for cats with normal vision in the same lighting conditions. Affected cats also tend to carry their whiskers in a more forward position. Once affected cats know their surroundings, they are very mobile and active. Our thanks to the breeders who came forward and helped us establish a colony so that we could define the condition and find the gene responsible for this defect.

The causative DNA variant appears to be novel to the Bengal breed and occurred early in a popular lineage of the Bengals. We expect Bengal cats worldwide to have the condition and we have had reports of affected cats in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the USA. Bengal PRA is autosomal recessive, thus two copies of the mutant DNA variant are required for the cats to be blind. The blindness can be detected either by the DNA test or by an eye exam prior breeding age. Carriers, cats with one copy of the mutation, can only be detected by the DNA test.

Turnaround Time
2-6 business days
Type of Sample

Species

Cat

Type of Test

Results Reported As
Test Result Bengal Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA-b)
N/N Normal. No copies of the PRA-b mutation.
N/PRA

Carrier. 1 copy of the PRA-b mutation. Vision will be normal.

PRA/PRA Affected. 2 copies of the PRA-b mutation. Cat will develop clinical signs of Bengal PRA.
References

Ofri, R., Reilly, C.M., Maggs, D.J., Fitzgerald, P.G., Shilo-Benjamini, Y., Good, K.L., Grahn, R.A., Splawski, D.D., & Lyons, L.A. (2015). Characterization of an early-onset, autosomal recessive, progressive retinal degeneration in Bengal cats. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 56(9), 5299-5308. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16585

Cogné, B., Latypova, X., Senaratne, L., Martin, L., Koboldt, D. C., Kellaris, G., Fievet, L., Le Meur, G., Caldari, D., Debray, D., Nizon, M., Frengen, E., Bowne, S. J., 99 Lives Consortium, Cadena, E. L., Daiger, S. P., Bujakowska, K. M., Pierce, E. A., Gorin, M., Katsanis, N., … Isidor, B. (2020). Mutations in the Kinesin-2 Motor KIF3B Cause an Autosomal-Dominant Ciliopathy. American Journal of Human Genetics, 106(6), 893-904. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.04.005