Basepaws seeks veterinary partners to participate in clinical recruitment to collect samples from cats and dogs for its chronic kidney disease (CKD) research program.
Content submitted by Basepaws, a dvm360® Strategic Alliance Partner
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects both cats and dogs and is a condition commonly associated with aging.1 Over 10 percent of dogs2 will develop some form of kidney disease in their lifetime, and up to 40 percent of cats over 10 years of age3 are affected by CKD. The nonspecific symptoms of CKD in the early stages are easily missed until the disease reaches an advanced stage and has already caused significant damage to the kidneys. This underscores the need for screening tools that detect signs of CKD sooner and can give veterinarians a wider range of intervention and individualized treatment options for their patients.
Basepaws created the world’s first at-home cat DNA test with these goals in mind. The test provides results for over 115 known feline genetic health markers—65 markers for genetic health conditions and 50 markers for traits. It also analyzes the oral microbiome to establish the compositional abundance of microbes predictive of the 3 top feline dental diseases (periodontal disease, tooth resorption, and halitosis). Microbiome results may, for example, reveal the presence of microbes associated with an elevated risk for having periodontal disease, which are often associated with a higher risk for developing CKD.4
Basepaws conducted preliminary studies on finding CKD-specific signals in the feline oral microbiome using samples provided through its citizen science research program.5 These studies have yielded promising data on distinct microbes whose presence and relative abundance pattern in the feline oral microbiome is a strong predictor of feline CKD.6 Visit the Basepaws’ feline chronic kidney disease research blog page for more details.
Basepaws is now building upon and validating its citizen science feline CKD findings with a feline CKD clinical study, as well as launching a new canine CKD clinical study. The company’s preliminary data on CKD-specific signals in the feline oral microbiome make it well-positioned to conduct canine oral microbiome research, and they have already secured early participants for its related canine periodontal disease research project.
Basepaws seeks veterinary clinic partners to participate in these 2 clinical studies and help advance new discoveries in pet health. Participants will aid in the recruitment of controlled cohorts of dogs and cats that have a confirmed CKD diagnosis, as well as those with a confirmed clean bill of health. Its current veterinary feline CKD clinical partners include Ellen Carozza, LVT, at Nova Cat Clinic in Virginia, Steve Manyak, DVM, at Pine Animal Hospital in California, and Nicole Martell-Moran, DVM, MPH, ABVP, at the Feline Medical Center in Texas.
To enhance these veterinarian-supported clinical studies, Basepaws will also conduct genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify potential genetic markers associated with a pet’s increased risk of developing CKD. The GWAS will involve scanning the genomes from different cats and dogs and looking for genetic markers that could potentially be used to predict the risk of developing CKD.
The results of this multipronged research approach will help Basepaws and veterinarians to better understand both the genetic and oral microbiome factors associated with a pet’s increased risk for CKD. Results will directly inform the creation of a screening tool to help veterinarians detect signs of CKD earlier and streamline diagnostic procedures. Earlier detection provides more opportunities for earlier intervention and treatments, before CKD reaches an advanced stage where options are limited.
Basepaws welcomes clinical recruitment partners from veterinary hospitals and clinics for its canine and feline CKD clinical studies. This collaborative effort has the potential to yield new scientific insights that support improved prognoses for dogs and cats suffering from CKD.
Participation involves following a simple study protocol for collecting an oral swab sample from qualifying patients, filling out basic screening information for each sample, and sharing patients’ clinical records.
Compensation is provided for every collected sample that matches particular criteria, and the company will supply the oral swab collection kits for obtaining feline and canine clinical samples, which will undergo shotgun metagenomic sequencing.