Innovation Union/Research: progress on tackling a human disease thanks to EU-funded study of illness in pet dogs
An EU-funded research team has discovered a new gene responsible for the development of a human respiratory disease thanks to the study of the same illness naturally occurring in pet dogs. This rare genetic disease, primary ciliary dyskinesis (PCD), affects one in 20.000 people and causes chronic respiratory infections. The discovery was made by the LUPA project which aims to improve our understanding of the genetic origin of a wide range of human diseases, by collecting and comparing DNA samples from purebred dogs that are healthy or affected by similar diseases as humans. The study on PCD was led by the University of Liège in Belgium, which is also coordinator of the overall project. The LUPA project is receiving €12 million from the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme and involves 22 partners from 12 European countries: Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, UK, Norway and Switzerland.