What is it about?

The MARS PETCARE BIOBANK (MPB) is a prospective study that aims to build a longitudinal bank of biological samples, with paired medical and lifestyle data, from 20,000 initially healthy cats and dogs (10,000 / species), recruited through veterinary hospitals over a ten-year period. Here, we describe the MPB protocol and discuss its potential as a platform to increase understanding of why and how diseases develop and how to advance personalised veterinary healthcare.

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Why is it important?

The veterinary care of cats and dogs is increasingly embracing innovations first applied to human health, including an increased emphasis on preventative care and precision medicine. Large scale human population biobanks have advanced research in these areas; however, few have been established in veterinary medicine. This manuscript outlines the protocol developed to establish a general population veterinary biobank and longitudinal study to help bridge the gap between veterinary patient care and clinical innovation. In the past, several obstacles to such projects have been identified. However, the range of businesses that exist within Mars Petcare represent a unique opportunity to overcome many of these issues for example; its network of primary care and referral veterinary hospitals utilising a small number of electronic medical record systems, veterinary diagnostics laboratories providing sample transport, handling and analysis, direct-to-consumer products that capture health and wellbeing information, and research centres to integrate and analyse the resulting data. By providing extensive new data to elucidate the risk factors and processes that determine the development of disease in cats and dogs, the MPB will provide a unique opportunity to advance precision veterinary healthcare.


This manuscript represents the work of a multidisciplinary team of research scientists and clinicians who all have the same aim of identifying ways to prevent and treat disease in cats and dogs as well as delivering insights that may support healthy growth, development, and ageing. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Janet Alexander

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The MARS PETCARE BIOBANK protocol: establishing a longitudinal study of health and disease in dogs and cats, BMC Veterinary Research, August 2023, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/s12917-023-03691-4.
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