Reduced severity of histopathological lesions in mink selected for tolerance to Aleutian mink disease virus infection.

Farid AH, Ferns LE, et al.

Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Canada. Electronic address:

Research in veterinary science. Feb 2017.

The objective of this study was to measure the effect of selection for tolerance on the severity of the Aleutian disease (AD) lesions in mink. Sensitivity and specificity of antibody detection in the blood by counter-immunoelectrophoresis (CIEP) relative to the presence of Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) in the spleen by PCR in naturally infected farmed mink were also estimated. Carcasses of 680 sero-positive (CIEP-P) black mink from 28 farms in Nova Scotia, Canada, and from 132 sero-negative (CIEP-N) mink from 14 of these farms were collected at pelting time. A total of 116 of the CIEP-P mink were from three farms where animals have been selected for tolerating AD for almost 20years. The severity of the AD lesions was assessed by histopathological examination of kidneys, lungs, heart, brain and liver on a scale of 0 to 4. Sensitivity and specificity of CIEP relative to PCR were 0.97 and 0.85, respectively, and 16.5% of CIEP-N mink were PCR positive, which could be one of the reasons for the failure of virus eradication by CIEP in Canada. The CIEP-N and tolerant CIEP-P animals had 9.39 and 6.23 greater odds of showing lower lesion severity, respectively, than the CIEP-P animals (P<0.01). The CIEP-N mink had a slightly higher chance (P=0.07) of showing lower lesion severity (odds ratio 1.51) compared with tolerant CIEP-P mink. The results suggested that tolerant mink had significantly reduced severity of AD lesions despite having anti-viral antibodies and carrying the virus. Pubmed