Genetic testing has been developed into an essential management tool for the veterinarians, breeders and owners to breed sound and healthy cats. Some traits are highly sought after and genetic tests have been developed to help breeders to accurately determine appropriate mating combinations. Correct mating decisions made on appropriate information assists breeders to become more efficient.

The point of entry is detailed, accurate and reliable family trees that have been genetically validated. Parentage verification can be performed by comparing DNA profiles. At present DNA profile analysis is performed by making use of the ISAG approved STR marker profile consisting of 17 different DNA markers providing enough variation to accurately compile a unique DNA profile for individual identification as well as breeding confirmation.

Genetic tests for simple genetic traits assist with determining genetic disorders and prediction of risk factors. Breeders will have to consider risk factors along with the other important attributes of a cat for their breeding decisions.

At present DNA profile analysis, breeding confirmation and genetic tests for selected genetic disorders and traits can be offered at Unistel Medical Laboratories. Disorders include PKD1, Vitamin D-deficiency rickets, Haemophilia B1 and B2, and hypothyroidism among others. Traits include Maine Coon hair length and coat colour tests.

Sample requirements:
For cats, the sample of choice for DNA testing is blood or hair – specifically the hair follicle cells attached to hair.

Animal Genetics price list documents can here found here.

Dear valued supporters and suppliers

As the total effect of the COVID-19 lockdown becomes clear and the knock-on effect of this action is realized, Unistel Medical Laboratories has pro-actively put procedures in place to firstly ensure the absolute safety of staff and secondly to ensure the seamless continued functioning of the laboratory to provide essential diagnostic testing. No patient services, cytogenetic, Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH) and DNA testing can or will be compromised as this is an essential critical service. Staff will ensure services continue by working in non-overlapping shifts, keep social distance and completing as much analysis and reporting work electronically from home.

Unistel Medical Laboratories is committed to the huge effort to restrict the spread of COVID-19, but will also continue to provide essential world-class diagnostic and DNA testing services.

The veterinary diagnostic services will be continued on the same basis.

As all supporters will realize the turn-around time for results may be compromised slightly, but rest assured, Unistel Medical Laboratories will still do our level best to maintain timely service.