Naked Foal Syndrome (NFS)



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Naked Foal Syndrome (NFS)


Naked Foal Syndrome (NFS) is inherited as a monogenic autosomal recessive trait caused by a nonsense variant G>T, that truncates >80% of the open reading frame of the ST14 gene. In humans several genetic variants in the ST14 gene have been shown to be linked to an autosomal recessive form of congenital ichthyosis.

Horses affected by NFS are born hairless, and often die within days to months after birth. In most cases it is unclear as to the reason for these early deaths. In some rare cases hairless foals have survived up to 2.5 years. The first records of hairless Akhal-Teke foals date back to 1938, and since then the number of such foals has increased steadily.

NSF is an autosomal recessive trait, meaning a foal can only be affected if the foal inherits the disease from both parents. Parents that are carriers do not have any symptoms associated with NSF. However, they will pass on a copy of the defective gene to their offspring 50% of the time. If breeding two carriers the foal has a 25% chance of being affected and a 50% chance of being a carrier.

Breeds Affected:

Testing for NFS is valid for Akhal-Teke horse breed.

Test Results:

Animal Genetics offers DNA testing for Naked Foal Syndrome (NFS). The genetic test verifies the presence of the recessive mutated gene and presents results as one of the following:

Naked Foal Syndrome (NFS):

NFS/NFS Affected The horse carries two copies of the variant and is homozygous for NFS. The horse is affected with the NFS genetic disorder associated with your breed.
n/NFS Carrier Both the normal and mutant alleles were detected. Horse tested heterozygous for NFS and is a carrier of the NFS mutation associated with your breed.
n/n Clear Horse tested negative for NFS and does not carry the NFS gene mutation. The horse will not pass on the defective gene to its offspring.

    Submit a Sample for Testing:

    To submit a sample for testing please click on ORDER and download a sample submission form. Then follow the sample collection and submission instructions.


    Cost per sample is - Call. Please see our Equine Fee Schedule for all equine testing rates.