Table_1_SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak on a Spanish Mink Farm: Epidemiological, Molecular, and Pathological Studies.pdf (143.61 kB)
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Table_1_SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak on a Spanish Mink Farm: Epidemiological, Molecular, and Pathological Studies.pdf

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posted on 21.01.2022, 04:37 authored by Juan José Badiola, Alicia Otero, Eloisa Sevilla, Belén Marín, Mirta García Martínez, Marina Betancor, Diego Sola, Sonia Pérez Lázaro, Jenny Lozada, Carolina Velez, Álvaro Chiner-Oms, Iñaki Comas, Irving Cancino-Muñoz, Eva Monleón, Marta Monzón, Cristina Acín, Rosa Bolea, Bernardino Moreno

Farmed minks have been reported to be highly susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and may represent a risk to humans. In this study, we describe the first outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 occurred on a mink farm in Spain, between June and July 2020, involving 92,700 animals. The outbreak started shortly after some farm workers became seropositive for SARS-CoV-2. Minks showed no clinical signs compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection throughout the outbreak. Samples from 98 minks were collected for histopathological, serological, and molecular studies. Twenty out of 98 (20.4%) minks were positive by RT-qPCR and 82 out 92 (89%) seroconverted. This finding may reflect a rapid spread of the virus at the farm with most of the animals overcoming the infection. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 was detected by RT-qPCR in 30% of brain samples from positive minks. Sequencing analysis showed that the mink sequences were not closely related with the other mink SARS-CoV-2 sequences available, and that this mink outbreak has its probable origin in one of the genetic variants that were prevalent in Spain during the first COVID-19 epidemic wave. Histological studies revealed bronchointerstitial pneumonia in some animals. Immunostaining of viral nucleocapsid was also observed in nasal turbinate tissue. Farmed minks could therefore constitute an important SARS-CoV-2 reservoir, contributing to virus spread among minks and humans. Consequently, continuous surveillance of mink farms is needed.

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