& the Impact on the Beef Cattle Industry
Neuropathic Hydrocephalus (NH) is a lethal genetic condition caused by a recessive mutation that affects Angus and Angus-influenced cattle. Affected calves are born dead with an extremely large cranium with little or no brain material or spinal cord. It is probable that a large percentage of mortalities relating to NH occur through embryonic or fetal loss during gestation, which causes the defect to go misdiagnosed or unnoticed.
The genetic condition has been traced back to GAR Precision 1680, a highly influencial Angus sire.1 The Arthrogryposis Multiplex (AM) mutation has been traced back to this animal as well.
A diagnostic test for NH developed by Dr. Jon Beever at the University of Illinois, in collaboration with Dr. David Steffen at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the American Angus Association, is now available commercially through Zoetis Genetics.