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1 July 2014 Testing for Aleutian Mink Disease Virus in the River Otter (Lontra canadensis) in Sympatry with Infected American Mink (Neovison vison)
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Abstract
Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) occurs in the American mink (Neovison vison) in wild populations and on mink farms and can cause illness and death. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) may be exposed to AMDV because of shared space and habitat with mink. Using serology and real-time PCR, we tested river otters across Ontario for AMDV infection. We found no evidence of infection in otters, a surprising finding given the sympatric distribution, niche overlap, and close phylogenetic relationship of the river otter and the American mink. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the major point of spillover of AMDV between mink farms and wildlife is manure and composting carcasses on mink farms. Mink farms in Ontario are generally in agricultural landscapes; it is unlikely that river otter use these habitats and thus are likely not exposed to AMDV. We found no evidence that AMD is an important disease for the river otters in Ontario.
Wildlife Disease Association 2014
Jeff Bowman, Anne G. Kidd, Larissa A. Nituch, Carrie Sadowski and Albrecht I. Schulte-Hostedde "Testing for Aleutian Mink Disease Virus in the River Otter (Lontra canadensis) in Sympatry with Infected American Mink (Neovison vison)," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 50(3), (1 July 2014). https://doi.org/10.7589/2013-10-286
Received: 30 October 2013; Accepted: 1 February 2014; Published: 1 July 2014
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