At the end of April there was a moderately increased mink loss at a number of farms in the Netherlands, with respiratory problems being the main clinical sign. In the pathological examination by Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR), it was noticed that almost all animals had died of severe pneumonia.
Results from the pathological examination
The biggest changes were mainly found in the alveoli (interstitial pneumonia). These animals were in good condition and the other organs were unaffected. For additional research, throat swabs and rectal swabs were taken from all animals to analyze the genetic material of the virus and to determine the infection with SARS-CoV-2. Initial research results indicate that interstitial pneumonia is the main cause of death after a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Not all infected minks develop clinical signs and viral transmission on the mink farms has probably occurred from humans to mink and vice versa.
Publications about the coronavirus in mink
More information can be found in the two scientific publications published about the SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks at mink farms in collaboration with GD in Deventer, Utrecht University, Erasmus MC, GGD Eindhoven and the Dutch Ministry of Food and Agriculture (LNV).