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Schistosoma reflexum (SR) is congenital syndrome briefly characterized by visceral eventration, severe dorsoflexion and ankylosis of the spine and arthrogryposis. A genetic etiology has been proposed, but conclusive evidence has not yet been provided.
Pedigree analysis was carried out in 29 cases of SR in Czech Holsteins and Holstein crosses. Genetic relationship was evaluated and inbreeding coefficients calculated. Pedigrees of 15 Czech Holsteins fathering non-SR affected calves were used for comparison.
Twenty-one cases occurred in one pedigree founded by three sires while three SR calves occurred in another pedigree with a common grandfather. The sex ratio between affected males and females was 11:6. Affected calves shared common ancestors different from those shared by the unaffected calves. The inbreeding coefficient in the SR affected calves was not increased compared to unaffected calves.
The findings are consistent with SR being inherited autosomal recessively. Further studies are however needed to confirm this and therefore a breeding trial is recommended where a suspected heterozygous sire is mated to closely related females.