OAHN Alternative Species Research Project: Developing a health and disease surveillance network for Ontario mink farms
Project Lead: Patricia V. Turner
Collaborators: Brian Tapscott, Marina Brash, Emily Martin, Davor Okjic
This project evaluated the occurrence of infectious diseases on a limited number of Ontario mink farms over a 2-year period. It proved difficult to recruit producers to participate in this program. Fecal PCR shedding patterns were evaluated on 100% of Ontario mink farms for both 2016 and 2017. Mink astrovirus, hepatitis E virus, ad porcine rotavirus were detected in some samples from some farms in both 2016 and 2017, generally at modest levels. Antimicrobial resistance was also detected on 3 of 44 and 5 of 42 farms for 2016 and 2017, respectively, including on one farm in 2017 with high levels of resistance to multiple agents. Because of the known poor biosecurity standards on mink farms, this suggests that antimicrobial use should be monitored and controlled for these animals in the future.