Astrovirus epidemiologically linked to pre-weaning diarrhoea in mink

L. Englund, Mariann Chriél, H.H. Dietz, K.O. Hedlund

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Diarrhoea and excessive secretion from the cervical apocrine glands in young, suckling mink kits is a well-known, but poorly defined, syndrome often referred to as "sticky", "greasy", or "wet" kits. We have performed a case-control study, at farm level as well as at mink kit level, in Denmark and Sweden to investigate whether enteric virus infections! may be a risk factor in the development of pre-weaning diarrhoea. Tissue samples from the enteric tract of 180 sacrificed mink kits were analysed histologically. Faecal contents were examined by electron microscopy (EM). Astrovirus was detected in abundance and found to be a significant risk factor both at farm level (OR = 21.60, p <0.001) and at mink kit level (OR = 7.95, p <0.001). Other factors, i.e. low body weight, coccoid bacteria adherent to the enteric villi, and presence of calicivirus were also shown to increase the risk of pre-weaning diarrhoea, although with less impact than astrovirus.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-11
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • mink
  • astrovirus
  • calicivirus
  • diarrhoea
  • epidemiology


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