Familial episodic ataxia of lambs is a congenital transient autosomal dominant disorder of newborn lambs, with varying expressivity. Affected lambs show episodes of an asymmetric ataxic gait, base-wide extensor hypertonia of the thoracic limbs and flexor hypertonia of the pelvic limbs. The aim of the study was to determine the genetic variant causing familial episodic ataxia in lambs. Using whole genome sequencing of two half-sib affected lambs, their sire, and their two normal dams, a heterozygous C>T transition at OAR10:77593415 (Oar_v3.1) in exon 1 of the fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14) gene (c.46C>T) was identified. The c.46C>T transition resulted in a premature stop codon at position 16 of the 247 amino acid FGF14 protein (p.Q16*). PCR and Sanger sequencing was used to genotype an additional 20 clinically affected animals, demonstrating all lambs carried the c.46C>T variant but 1 clinically more severely affected inbred lamb was homozygous (TT). A further 11 unrelated normal ewes were positionally sequenced, none of which had the variant, while in 18 lambs of unknown status born over 2 years of breeding trials six lambs were found to have the c.46C>T variant, likely clinically unidentified heterozygotes due to the variable expressivity, while 12 did not. In conclusion, familial episodic ataxia of lambs is potentially associated with a c.46C>T variant in the FGF14 gene. Further research is required into the mechanism behind the apparent recovery of lambs
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