Life

Scientists solve breeders' problem of dog infertility

Credit: Adobe Stock
Credit: Adobe Stock

Scientists from the University of Agriculture in Krakow are working on the rapid detection of testicular dysfunction in dogs. Breeders of reproductive purebred dogs need diagnostic analyses. A cheap and reliable test will enable early treatment of animals or other appropriate breeding decisions.

'Infertility is a social disease with a global tendency to increase. This problem affects both humans and animals. Its cause is the presence of chemical compounds in the environment, commonly found, for example, in food or in the air. We want to develop quick, simple and widely available diagnostic tests to assess the functionality of the dog's reproductive system,’ says the project leader, Professor Małgorzata Kotula-Balak.

Researchers working on the project have developed a protocol for determining the p16 protein - a biochemical marker for assessing the reproductive function of the testicles in a male dog. The final product will to be an immunochromatic test, which is currently not available on the market. 

The technology is expected to contribute to the breeding progress of purebred dogs and increase the breeding quality. Dogs with testicular dysfunction will not be unnecessarily considered for reproductive purposes.

'Right after cryptorchidism, testicular cancer is the second most frequent disease of the gonads in dogs. Older dogs are affected, but this disease is also more and more often diagnosed in young dogs. The problem is the lack of specific tests that would enable early diagnosis of this disease,’ says Dr. Jarosław Wieczorek from the University Centre of Veterinary Medicine of the Jagiellonian University and the University of Agriculture in Krakow.

Research on the test is conducted at the Centre for Experimental and Innovative Medicine, which is part of the University of Agriculture in Krakow and responds to the clinical needs of veterinary medicine. Dr. Piotr Pawlicki adds that the development and optimisation of the protocol for determining the expression of the biochemical marker p16 for the reproductive assessment of the gonad is necessary to create a diagnostic immunochromatic test. The project team also includes Dr. Grzegorz Ramisz and Tomasz Chochorowski.

The project is included in the database of pre-implementation projects of the Innovation Incubator 4.0 of five Krakow universities. It is intended for commercialisation in the veterinary industry. Find out more at: https://demodayinnowacji.pl/

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