National Observatory of Bovine Anomalies


National Observatory of Bovine Anomalies

The appearance of genetic abnormalities is inevitable. They result from certain random mutations in DNA. Their eradication is greatly facilitated by recent advances in molecular tools. The most critical point remains the observation of emergence and clinical description, which ONAB aims to coordinate at the national level between the different actors.


Observatoire National des Anomalies Génétiques
Observatoire National des Anomalies Génétiques

ONAB was created under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and brings together the various actors concerned: INRAE, Institut de l'Elevage, Veterinary Technical Groups, Veterinary Schools of Nantes, Toulouse, Alfort, and Lyon, Eliance and member companies, Breeds of France and Breed Selection Organizations, Performance Control.

Genetic abnormalities emerge on a recurrent basis in farmed populations. Their appearance is almost inevitable. They are the result of mutations in DNA that cannot be controlled. If they are not expressed in a heterozygous state (the mutation is said to be recessive), they can spread in the population for several generations without being observed. Active surveillance is therefore necessary to detect emergence as early as possible, bearing in mind that the first cases observed are late and always well after the original mutation and its spread in the population.

The search for the responsible mutation requires several steps :

  1. Evidence of emergence
  2. Clinical description of the abnormality. This step is crucial to ensure the uniqueness of the pathology being studied and to guide genetic research
  3. Collection of samples (blood, ear, etc.) from affected individuals to obtain DNA
  4. Genetic analyses, genotyping and sequencing

Genomic tools have advanced significantly in recent years and make it possible to isolate the gene in question more and more quickly. A diagnostic DNA test, which distinguishes between patients, carriers and non-carriers, is the only effective tool for a proactive policy to eradicate abnormalities in the population.

The first steps of emergence observation, clinical characterization and sample collection are the most complex to implement, as they require strong coordination and the intervention of multiple actors in the field.


The National Observatory of Bovine Anomalies (ONAB) is coordinated by Cécile Grohs (INRAE) and Coralie Danchin (IDELE), in collaboration with Françoise Dion (Veterinary Doctor, Races de France).

See also

Modification date : 24 October 2023 | Publication date : 23 May 2011 | Redactor : P. Huan