ZincDeficiencyLike Syndrome in Fleckvieh (ZDL)

Zinc-Deficiency-Like Syndrome in Fleckvieh (ZDL)



Close collaboration of scientists from Germany (TUM, LMU, LfL) and Austria (ZuchtData) enabled the identification of two new recessive disorders in Fleckvieh cattle. Indirect haplotype tests as well as direct gene tests have been developed for both disorders. By now, all genotyped Fleckvieh bulls are routinely tested for dwarfism, stunted growth, thrombopathia and the zinc-deficiency-like syndrome. This ensures the avoidance of risk matings while maintaining genetic diversity and genetic gain.


Status of investigation

Sporadically, calves in very poor general condition and with severe inflammatory skin lesions were admitted to the clinic for ruminants in the past years. Though the symptoms of the calves were similar to those of calves suffering from zinc deficiency, clinical investigations precluded zinc deficiency as causal. Exploiting genotype data of eight affected animals enabled to pinpoint a short chromosomal segment (=haplotype) causing the disease in homozygous state. So far, no adult homozygous animals could be found in the entire Fleckvieh population, implying that homozygous individuals most likely perish at the age of a few weeks to a few months. Heterozygous animals are healthy. The frequency of the deleterious allele is 1%. Assuming random matings, one affected calf is expected in 10000 matings. Based on its phenotypic similarity to zink deficiency, the disease is denominated ZDL (zinc deficiency-like).