New Test Available for Angus Influenced Cattle

Lethal gene identified.

Published on: Jun 15, 2009

Neurophathic Hydrocephalus is a lethal genetic defect that affects Angus and Angus-influenced cattle. Calves carrying two recessive genes—resulting from the mating of two carrier animals—are born dead with an extremely large cranium with little or no brain matter or spinal cord. A large%age of mortalities relating to NH occur through embryonic or fetal loss during gestation, which causes the defect to go misdiagnosed or unnoticed.


Dr. Jon Beever at the University of Illinois and Dr. David Steffen at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in collaboration with the American Angus Association, have identified the gene mutation responsible for NH and a commercial test has been developed and validated. The new diagnostic test is now available through Pfizer Animal Genetics.


Also, Pfizer Animal Genetics has been approved by the American Angus Association as an NH testing laboratory. Pfizer Animal Genetics has proactively worked to expand its testing capacity in order to provide results to producers in a timely manner. Samples are being tested in the order in which they are received at the new laboratory located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.