Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa (JEB) is an inherited disease also known as Red Foot Disease or Hairless Foal Syndrome. Two separate genetic mutations have been identified: JEB1 occurs in Belgian Draft horses and related Draft breeds and JEB2 which occurs in American Saddlebred horses.
This inherited disorder is caused by a mutation that inhibits the body's ability to produce certain proteins responsible for holding the skin onto the body. Affected horses are typically born alive with little symptoms, however, after 4 to 5 days of age the foal begins to develop lesions at the pressure points. These lesions quickly grow larger, creating patches all over the foal's body. Because the same protein responsible for skin adhesion is also involved in the hoof attachment, the foal also beings to lose the hoof wall, and the hoof may detach. Oral ulcers are also seen with JEB, as well as foals being born with front teeth.
Unfortunately, there is not a cure of JEB. As the condition worsens, the foal will begin to develop severe infections, as well as suffer from increasing pain and discomfort. Foals often die from these infections, or are euthanized within 3-8 days from birth for humane reasons.
JEB is an autosomal recessive trait, meaning a foal can only be affected if the foal inherits the disease from both parents. Parents that are carriers do not have any symptoms associated with JEB. However, they can still pass on a copy of the defective gene to their offspring.
Animal Genetics offers
DNA testing and detection of both JEB1 found in Belgian Draft horses and other related draft breeds and JEB2 found in the American Saddlebred breed and will run the appropriate test depending on the breed of horse being tested.
US per sample.
Collect sample by pulling (not cutting) 20-30
mane or tail hairs with roots attached. It is important that you
pull the hairs and confirm that the actual root of the hair is being
collected. The root contains the genetic material of your horse
that is needed for DNA testing. Therefore, cut hairs do not provide
an adequate sample of your horse. Place the collected hairs of each
horse in a separate zip-lock bag labeling the bags accordingly with
the horses name or identification number. Download and complete
a submission form for each sample and send along with
payment to Animal Genetics for testing.
Results are given using the following symbolic
horse carries two copies of the JEB mutation and is homozygous
for JEB. The horse is affected with the JEB genetic disorder associated with your breed.
the normal and JEB alleles were detected. Horse tested heterozygous
for JEB and is a carrier of the JEB mutation associated with your breed.
tested negative for the known JEB gene mutation for your breed.