Aleutian disease serology, protein electrophoresis, and pathology of the European mink (Mustela lutreola) from Navarra, Spain

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The European mink, Mustela lutreola, has suffered a dramatic decline in Europe during the 20th century and is one of the most endangered carnivores in the world. The subpopulation of European mink from Navarra, Spain, estimated to number approximately 420, represents approximately two thirds of the total number of mink in Spain. Aleutian Disease Virus (ADV) is a parvovirus with a high degree of variability that can infect a broad range of mustelid hosts. The pathogenesis of this virus in small carnivores is variable and can be influenced by both host factors (e.g., species, American mink genotype, and immune status) and viral strain. A cross-sectional study was conducted during the pre-reproductive period of February-March 2004 and 2005 and the postreproductive period of September-December 2004. Mink were intensively trapped along seven rivers that were representative of the European mink habitat in Navarra. Antibody counter immunoelectrophoresis against ADV was performed on 84 European mink blood samples. All the samples were negative. Protein electrophoresis was performed on 93 plasma samples. Nine of those samples (9.6%) had gamma globulin levels exceeding 20% of the total plasma protein. Complete necropsies were performed on 23 cadavers of European mink collected in the area between 2000 and 2005. Seventeen of the mink (74%) had traumatic and hemorrhagic lesions compatible with vehicular impact injuries. Although there were no histopathologic lesions associated with ADV, this study documents the first description of a naturally occurring canine distemper virus infection in a European mink. In addition, pulmonary adiaspiromycosis in three European mink from Spain was reported.

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Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians

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