The Aleutian Mink Virus (AMDV) causes the Aleutian Mink Disease (AMD) or Mink Plasmacytosis, a disease responsible of high economic losses for industry worldwide. Despite there is evidence of the environmental persistence of the virus, there is not literature on the detection of this virus in environmental samples in farms and this fact would have great importance in the control programs of the disease. In order to detect contamination caused by AMDV on farms, several environmental samples were taken and examined using qPCR. 93.9% of samples taken from farms confirmed to be infected tested positive. The virus was also detected on a farm which, despite having no previous positive results, was sharing personnel with an infected farm. All samples taken from AMD-free farms tested negative, including a farm where an eradication procedure by stamping out had been performed during the preceding months. Higher contamination levels were observed in samples from those surfaces in direct contact with animals. These results are the first demonstration of environmental contamination in farms, hitherto suggested by epidemiological evidences, caused by AMDV on surfaces, furniture and equipments inside mink farms. qPCR is an useful tool for evaluating the spread of AMDV into the environment, and it may have important applications within the disease control programs.
Cluster outbreaks of lymphoma and leukemia have been associated with viral infections in many species including humans, cattle, and cats. This study describes epidemiological, clinical, and pathological features of cluster outbreaks of lymphoma in multiferret households and examines and compares the Aleutian disease virus (ADV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) status of cases, ferrets at risk, and controls. Three ferret groups with 21 cases of histologically diagnosed lymphoma (12.6% cumulative incidence) and their cohabitants (n = 35) were examined and compared with three control groups (n = 52) of cohabitating ferrets without lymphoma. A familial distribution was observed in one group but most cases were not consanguinous. Ferrets greater than 3 years of age developed chronic disease in two of the groups and 2-year-old adults had acute disease in the remaining group. Lymphocytosis, splenomegaly, and lymphadenopathy were prominent features. Histologically, predominantly small noncleaved cell and polymorphous lymphoid lesions were observed. All of the ferrets with lymphoma that were tested for ADV and FeLV using serology or PCR were negative. The rate of ADV antibody among cases or ferrets at risk was not significantly different from controls. None of the cluster ferrets were seropositive for FeLV p27 antigen using a monoclonal ELISA. Infection with a novel ferret virus is suspected, but an etiological agent has not yet been identified.
Amdoparvoviruses infect carnivore species, including mink, raccoon dog, fox, skunk, and red panda. Amdoparvovirus infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in farmed minks. Here, we developed a direct TaqMan qPCR assay for detection and quantification of carnivore amdoparvoviruses by using three primers and one probe based on the conserved VP2 gene. The detection limit for Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) and Raccoon dog and arctic fox amdoparvovirus (RFAV) were 4.06?×?101 copies/µl and 2.93?×?101 copies/µl, respectively. Both intra- and inter-assay variability were less than 2%. Among 74 carnivore samples, the positive rates for amdoparvoviruses were 62.2% (46/74) by direct TaqMan qPCR, while only 40.5% (30/74) by SYBR Green I qPCR. This result suggests that the direct TaqMan qPCR was more sensitive than the SYBR Green I qPCR. Additionally, the direct TaqMan qPCR is a rapid and sensitive method for liquid samples at microliter level as the assay employed the direct alkaline lysis method to obtain viral DNA and, therefore, eliminated the cumbersome steps in extracting DNA. Overall, the direct TaqMan qPCR assay possessed high specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility, indicating that it can be used as a powerful tool for detection and quantification of various carnivore amdoparvoviruses in epidemiological and pathogenesis studies.
Aleutian mink disease parvovirus (AMDV) causes a persistent infection associated with immune complex disease, hypergammaglobulinemia, and high levels of antiviral antibodies. Despite the presence of an antibody, the virus is not cleared in vivo. Pre-existing antibodies may enhance viral infections, by Fc-receptor-mediated antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), but the mechanism that underlies ADE has not been fully defined. Three models have been proposed, including: (1) interactions between antibody and FcR, complement C3 fragment and CR, or between C1q and C1qR, which promotes viral attachment to cells; (2) suppression of IFN-gamma-mediated host-cell antiviral gene expression by the upregulation of negative regulators of pathogen pattern recognition; and (3) the promotion of early IL-10 secretion. In addition, the role of cytokine IL-6 in ADE mediated disease development is discussed, to facilitate a better understanding of the pathogenesis of AMDV infection, as well as give insights into rational vaccine design approaches.
When mink kits were infected neonatally with a highly virulent strain of Aleutian disease virus (ADV), 100% of both Aleutian and non-Aleutian genotype mink died of interstitial pneumonia characterized by permissive ADV infection of alveolar type II cells. Treatment of infected kits with either mink anti-ADV gamma globulin or mouse monoclonal antibodies against ADV structural proteins reduced mortality by 50 to 75% and drastically reduced the severity of clinical signs. Interestingly, mink kits that survived the acute pulmonary disease all developed the chronic form of immune complex-mediated Aleutian disease. Thus, the antibodies directed against ADV structural proteins were capable of modulating the in vivo pathogenicity from an acute fulminant disease to a chronic immune complex-mediated disorder. The mechanism of this modulation was examined by strand-specific in situ hybridization. We found that the number of ADV-infected type II cells was the same in both untreated and antibody-treated kits. However, in the treated kits, viral replication and transcription were restricted at the cellular level. These data suggested that antibodies prevented acute viral pneumonia by restricting the intracellular level of viral replication and that the relevant antigenic determinants were contained within the viral structural proteins. The restricted levels of viral replication and transcription seen in antibody-treated mink kits resembled the levels observed in infected adult mink and suggested a role of antiviral antibodies in development of persistent infection and chronic immune complex disease.
Neonatal mink kits infected with Aleutian mink disease parvovirus (ADV) develop an acute interstitial pneumonia with clinical symptoms and pathological lesions that resemble those seen in preterm human infants with respiratory distress syndrome and in human adults with adult respiratory distress syndrome. We have previously suggested that ADV replicates in the alveolar type II epithelial cells of the lung. By using double in situ hybridization, with the simultaneous use of a probe to detect ADV replication and a probe to demonstrate alveolar type II cells, we now confirm this hypothesis. Furthermore, Northern (RNA) blot hybridization showed that the infection caused a significant decrease of surfactant-associated protein C mRNA produced by the alveolar type II cells. We therefore suggest that the severe clinical symptoms and pathological changes characterized by hyaline membrane formation observed in ADV-infected mink kits are caused by a dysfunction of alveolar surfactant similar to that observed in respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants. However, in the infected mink kits the dysfunction is due to the replication of ADV in the lungs, whereas the dysfunction of surfactant in preterm infants is due to lung immaturity.
Information on the development of the infectious process in the Aleutian disease of minks (ADM) on the molecular level, are updated. In particular, the decisive role played by the ABM virus infection of the cells of the immune system (B lymphocytes, macrophages, follicular dendritic cells) and the possible involvement of the mechanism of the antibody-dependent aggravation of this infection are pointed out. In addition, the role of the weak ADM virus promoter p36, the immune status of minks and their age in the determination of the acute or "slow" character of the course of the disease are considered.