DUMPS is caused by a mutation of uridine monophosphate synthetase (UMPS) protein, resulting in pyrimidine deficiencies. Clinical signs are often noted during pregnancy, when abortion occurs due to affected calves dying in utero during the first trimester. Affected carrier cows are usually subclinically affected despite having diminished UMPS activity.
Diagnosis is based on PCR analysis (polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP)) of suspect cases and for screening of potential sires.
A differential diagnosis would include other causes of abortion and neurological signs such as bovine epizootic abortion, listeriosis, epizootic encephalomyelitis, sporadic bovine encephalomyelitis, Aino virus, rabies and toxoplasmosis.
Treatment is usually unsuccessful. The only way to avoid the economic losses is early detection of DUMPS carriers.
As artificial insemination is widely used in dairy cattle breeding, carriers of citrullinemia are likely present within the population of breeding sires. It is recommended to screen breeding sires for these defective genes in order to avoid an unwanted spread within the population.
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