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Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-452160


In the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020), SARS-CoV-2 was detected in farmed minks and genomic sequencing was performed on mink farms and farm personnel. Here, we describe the outbreak and use sequence data with Bayesian phylodynamic methods to explore SARS-CoV-2 transmission in minks and related humans on farms. High number of farm infections (68/126) in minks and farm related personnel (>50% of farms) were detected, with limited spread to the general human population. Three of five initial introductions of SARS-CoV-2 lead to subsequent spread between mink farms until November 2020. The largest cluster acquired a mutation in the receptor binding domain of the Spike protein (position 486), evolved faster and spread more widely and longer. Movement of people and distance between farms were statistically significant predictors of virus dispersal between farms. Our study provides novel insights into SARS-CoV-2 transmission between mink farms and highlights the importance of combing genetic information with epidemiological information at the animal-human interface.

Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-277152


The zoonotic origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is still unknown. Animal experiments have shown that non-human primates, cats, ferrets, hamsters, rabbits and bats can be infected by SARS-CoV-2. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been detected in felids, mink and dogs in the field. Here, we describe an in-depth investigation of outbreaks on 16 mink farms and humans living or working on these farms, using whole genome sequencing. We conclude that the virus was initially introduced from humans and has evolved, most likely reflecting widespread circulation among mink in the beginning of the infection period several weeks prior to detection. At the moment, despite enhanced biosecurity, early warning surveillance and immediate culling of infected farms, there is ongoing transmission between mink farms with three big transmission clusters with unknown modes of transmission. We also describe the first animal to human transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 in mink farms. One sentence summarySARS-CoV-2 transmission on mink farms.

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