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Vet Pathol ; 59(4): 681-695, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714567


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes respiratory disease in mink similar to human COVID-19. We characterized the pathological findings in 72 mink from US farms with SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, localized SARS-CoV-2 and its host cellular receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in mink respiratory tissues, and evaluated the utility of various test methods and specimens for SARS-CoV-2 detection in necropsy tissues. Of SARS-CoV-2-positive animals found dead, 74% had bronchiolitis and diffuse alveolar damage (DAD). Of euthanized SARS-CoV-2-positive animals, 72% had only mild interstitial pneumonia or minimal nonspecific lung changes (congestion, edema, macrophages); similar findings were seen in SARS-CoV-2-negative animals. Suppurative rhinitis, lymphocytic perivascular inflammation in the lungs, and lymphocytic infiltrates in other tissues were common in both SARS-CoV-2-positive and SARS-CoV-2-negative animals. In formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) upper respiratory tract (URT) specimens, conventional reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (cRT-PCR) was more sensitive than in situ hybridization (ISH) or immunohistochemistry (IHC) for detection of SARS-CoV-2. FFPE lung specimens yielded less detection of virus than FFPE URT specimens by all test methods. By IHC and ISH, virus localized extensively to epithelial cells in the nasal turbinates, and prominently within intact epithelium; olfactory mucosa was mostly spared. The SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 was extensively detected by IHC within turbinate epithelium, with decreased detection in lower respiratory tract epithelium and alveolar macrophages. This study expands on the knowledge of the pathology and pathogenesis of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in mink and supports their further investigation as a potential animal model of SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Farms , Mink , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Virus Internalization
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463837


In summer 2020, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detected on mink farms in Utah. An interagency One Health response was initiated to assess the extent of the outbreak and included sampling animals from on or near affected mink farms and testing them for SARS-CoV-2 and non-SARS coronaviruses. Among the 365 animals sampled, including domestic cats, mink, rodents, raccoons, and skunks, 261 (72%) of the animals harbored at least one coronavirus. Among the samples that could be further characterized, 127 alphacoronaviruses and 88 betacoronaviruses (including 74 detections of SARS-CoV-2 in mink) were identified. Moreover, at least 10% (n = 27) of the coronavirus-positive animals were found to be co-infected with more than one coronavirus. Our findings indicate an unexpectedly high prevalence of coronavirus among the domestic and wild free-roaming animals tested on mink farms. These results raise the possibility that mink farms could be potential hot spots for future trans-species viral spillover and the emergence of new pandemic coronaviruses.

Alphacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Alphacoronavirus/classification , Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Animals , Animals, Domestic/virology , Animals, Wild/virology , Cats , Disease Hotspot , Female , Male , Mephitidae/virology , Mice , Mink/virology , Raccoons/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Utah/epidemiology
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411082


Approximately 67% of U.S. households have pets. Limited data are available on SARS-CoV-2 in pets. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 infection in pets during a COVID-19 household transmission investigation. Pets from households with ≥1 person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were eligible for inclusion from April-May 2020. We enrolled 37 dogs and 19 cats from 34 households. All oropharyngeal, nasal, and rectal swabs tested negative by rRT-PCR; one dog's fur swabs (2%) tested positive by rRT-PCR at the first sampling. Among 47 pets with serological results, eight (17%) pets (four dogs, four cats) from 6/30 (20%) households had detectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. In households with a seropositive pet, the proportion of people with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 was greater (median 79%; range: 40-100%) compared to households with no seropositive pet (median 37%; range: 13-100%) (p = 0.01). Thirty-three pets with serologic results had frequent daily contact (≥1 h) with the index patient before the person's COVID-19 diagnosis. Of these 33 pets, 14 (42%) had decreased contact with the index patient after diagnosis and none were seropositive; of the 19 (58%) pets with continued contact, four (21%) were seropositive. Seropositive pets likely acquired infection after contact with people with COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should restrict contact with pets and other animals.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Pets/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/history , COVID-19/transmission , Cats , Dogs , Family Characteristics , History, 21st Century , Humans , Pets/history , Phylogeny , Population Surveillance , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Utah/epidemiology , Viral Zoonoses/epidemiology , Wisconsin/epidemiology