MOCOS-associated renal syndrome in a Brown Swiss cattle

J Vet Intern Med. 2023 Nov-Dec;37(6):2603-2609. doi: 10.1111/jvim.16856. Epub 2023 Sep 7.


Background: A recessive form of MOCOS-associated xanthinuria type II is described in Tyrolean grey cattle. A similar case was identified in a 5-month-old Brown Swiss calf with hoof overgrowth, rough coat, urine sediment, and pneumonia.

Hypothesis/objectives: To characterize the disease phenotype, to evaluate its genetic etiology, and to determine the prevalence of the deleterious allele in the Brown Swiss population.

Animals: An affected calf, its parents, and 65 441 Swiss dairy cattle.

Methods: The affected animal was clinically examined and necropsied. Microarray genotyping was used to determine the genotypes and to assess the frequency of the MOCOS allele in a Brown Swiss control cohort.

Results: Ultrasonography revealed hyperechoic renal pyramids with multifocal distal shadowing and echogenic sediment in the urinary bladder. Necropsy revealed suppurative bronchopneumonia and urolithiasis. Histology revealed numerous nephroliths with multifocal chronic lymphohistiocytic interstitial infiltrates, fibrosis, tubular degeneration, chronic multifocal glomerulonephritis with sclerosis, and bilateral hydronephrosis. Dysplastic changes were observed in the corium of the claw and the cornea. Genetic testing identified the homozygous presence of a known MOCOS frameshift variant in the case. Both parents were heterozygous and the prevalence of carriers in genotyped Brown Swiss cattle was 1.4% (342/24337).

Conclusions and clinical importance: The findings were consistent with the diagnosis of a recessive renal syndrome similar to xanthinuria type II described in Tyrolean grey cattle. The prevalence of the deleterious MOCOS allele is low in the Brown Swiss breed. However, mating of carriers should be avoided to prevent further losses.

Keywords: bovine; kidney disease; precision medicine; rare disease; urolithiasis; xanthine.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cattle Diseases* / genetics
  • Frameshift Mutation*
  • Genotype
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Phenotype
  • Sulfurtransferases* / genetics


  • Sulfurtransferases

Supplementary concepts

  • Xanthinuria, Type II