IGENITY®Announces Contractural Arachnodactyly Syndrome Analysis

Adding to the industry's most comprehensive list of DNA analyses for genetic abnormalities

DULUTH, Ga. — October 6, 2010 — IGENITY®, a division of Merial, announces the expansion of the comprehensive IGENITY profile to include an option for the presence of Contractural Arachnodactyly (CA; formerly known as Fawn Calf Syndrome). DNA samples will be processed beginning October 5.

“IGENITY is the one of the first DNA provider to make this analysis commercially available,” says Dr. Stewart Bauck, IGENITY executive director of research and development. “Producers may now know definitively whether or not their cattle are carriers of this defect, helping them make more confident mating and selection decisions.”

CA is a genetic defect inherited as a simple recessive gene that involves diminished elasticity of the connective tissue of muscles. While affected calves can survive to maturation, the developmental abnormality is clearly visible at birth.1 IGENITY is collaborating with Dr. Jon Beever of the University of Illinois to accurately analyze samples.

“Producers can easily manage CA,” says Dr. Bauck. “However, it is imperative to know if their breeding cattle are carriers or not. The only way to know if cattle carry the defect is to analyze their DNA for the specific genetic defect.”

Dr. Bauck adds that evaluating pedigrees is not an accurate way to determine if an animal is a carrier of the disease.

“Producers may be able to uncover the potential presence of the genetic defect in their cattle through pedigrees, but the only way to know if an animal is a carrier is to analyze their DNA,” he says. “Therefore, producers should use the analysis from IGENITY to find out if the genetic defect is present in any animal in their herd. A simple test can potentially save producers a lot of lost time and money.”

With the latest genetic defect analysis addition, the comprehensive IGENITY profile now provides analyses for eight genetic abnormalities, including:

• Contractural Arachnodactyly (CA)

• Neuropathic Hydrocephalus (NH)

• Arthrogryposis Multiplex (AM)

• Coat Color Dilution (DL)

• Idiopathic Epilepsy (IE)

• Osteopetrosis (OS)

• Pulmonary Hypoplasia Anasarca (PHA)

• Tibial Hemimelia (TH)

IGENITY also offers an optional diagnostic test for persistent infections (PI) of bovine viral diarrhea (BVD). In addition, producers can choose to use a combination radio frequency identification (RFID) tag and tissue collection device, making DNA collection and electronic identification possible in one simple step.

IGENITY is currently accepting most types of DNA samples for evaluating these abnormalities – tissue, hair, blood and semen. Most samples submitted within the past six months can be reanalyzed for genetic abnormalities. Producers can order sample collection kits and download any necessary breed association forms for submitting results at

In addition to analyses for eight genetic abnormalities, IGENITY offers analyses for 15 economically important traits, including the only available DNA analyses for maternal and reproductive traits, the most complete list of carcass traits, the only feed efficiency analyses for both Bos indicus and Bos taurus cattle, and more.2 IGENITY also offers user-friendly information management software and expert consultation to help producers customize this advanced information to their individual herd goals.

For more information about IGENITY, contact your IGENITY sales representative, call (877) 443-6489 or visit

IGENITY is a division of Merial.Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,700 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2009 sales were $2.7 billion. Merial is the Animal Health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see