Thirty-nine spontaneous cases of osteopetrosis have been studied in the
Onderstepoort experimental flock of fowls, and the disease has shown a
striking tendency to affect some families more than others. Evidence has
been advanced indicating that a susceptibility to the disease depends on a
recessive character. There is also some indirect evidence that susceptibility
depends on a unifactorial recessive.
Malignant conditions, such as leucosis and carcinosis, were not found
more frequently in fowls with osteopetrosis than in the flock as a whole.
Families stigmatized with osteopetrosis almost never provide birds
worthy of inclusion in a high class breeding pen. We have stated the
grounds on which a hen should be admitted to a good breeding pen, and we
have indicated what success has crowned our efforts to evolve a strain of
fowls resistant to neoplastic conditions, while being also highly desirable
in all other respects.
The literature dealing with osteopetrosis in fowls and man has been
reviewed and the points of similarity and dissimilarity have been discussed.
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