The Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an ocular genetic disease that is widespread in the canine species, since more than 100 breeds are affected by this condition. This disease is the canine homologue of retinitis pigmentosa in humans.

PRA is a disease characterized by a progressive degeneration of photoreceptors (cells that receive light information), resulting in a decrease of the visual field, which can lead to blindness. Affected dogs have trouble moving alone (they can bump into walls, have trouble orienting) first at night, then they will gradually have a tunnel vision. This condition is progressive and can be late diagnosed, after the dog has reproduced. In the dog species, many forms are diagnosed in many breeds. To date, about twenty genes are known in dogs, genetic tests have been developed, but many others are yet to be discovered.

Our team, in collaboration with Dr. Gilles Chaudieu, veterinarian, specialized in ophthalmology, is interested in the Border Collie PRA. In this breed, the PRA has a high incidence and affects males more particularly.

We also have research projects on PAR in other breeds in particular:

  • Pyrenean Shepherd,
  • Berger Picard,
  • Bleu de Gascogne,
  • Other breeds …

Regarding the Border Collies, in close collaboration with the French Association of Border Collies (AFBC), the veterinarian, Dr. G. Chaudieu, examined more than 400 Border Collies, and collected many blood samples. Thanks to this work of several years, a pedigree of more than 200 dogs has been constituted. Genetic linkage analyzes have identified a locus associated with the disease and genome-wide genome sequencing is currently underway.

In the predisposed PRA breeds, samples of affected dogs as well as their affected or unaffected relatives are needed. Moreover, samples of retina from affected and unaffected dogs are also important to continue our research.

If you wish to participate in this research, please send us :

We remind you that the data collected by the CNRS are confidential

For more information, you can contact our team by phone at +33 (0)2 23 23 45 09 or by email