Aleutian mink disease: puzzles and paradigms

Infect Agents Dis. 1994 Dec;3(6):279-301.


Aleutian mink disease (AD) is a naturally occurring persistent virus infection of mink caused by the Aleutian mink disease parvovirus (ADV). The classical form of AD, which occurs in adult mink, is notable for high titers of antiviral antibodies, hypergammaglobulinemia, plasmacytosis, and immune complex disease. In addition, there is a progressive renal disease characterized by mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis and severe interstitial nephritis. Development of AD depends on both host and viral factors, and mink of certain genotypes fail to develop progressive disease when inoculated with low-virulence strains of virus. In newborn mink kits, ADV causes a fatal, acute interstitial pneumonitis associated with permissive viral replication in alveolar type 2 cells, but treatment of newborn kits with anti-viral antibody aborts the acute disease and converts into one resembling the persistent infection observed in adults. In infected adult mink, ADV is sequestered as immune complexes in lymphoid organs, but actual viral replication is restricted at the level of the individual cell and can be detected in only a small population of macrophages and follicular dendritic cells. ADV infection of mink primary macrophages and the human macrophage cell line U937 is antibody dependent and leads to the production of the cytokine interleukin-6. Furthermore, levels of interleukin-6 are increased in lymph node culture supernatants from infected mink. Chronic production of interleukin-6 may promote development of the immune disorder characteristic of AD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aleutian Mink Disease Virus / genetics
  • Aleutian Mink Disease Virus / physiology
  • Aleutian Mink Disease* / physiopathology
  • Aleutian Mink Disease* / virology
  • Animals
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Mink
  • Parvoviridae Infections*
  • Virus Replication