We now report the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in 2 of 13 feral dark brown American mink (Neovison vison) trapped in the Valencian Community (Eastern Spain), during an invasive species trapping campaign.
They were trapped in riverbeds in sparsely inhabited rural areas known to harbor self-sustained feral mink populations. The closest fur farm is about 20 km away.
SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected by two-step RT-PCR in these animals’ mesenteric lymph nodes and was confirmed by sequencing a 397-nucleotide amplified region of the S gene, yielding identical sequences in both animals. A molecular phylogenetic analysis was run on this sequence, which was found to correspond to the consensus SARS-CoV-2 sequence from Wuhan. Our findings appear to represent the first example of SARS-CoV-2 acquired in the wild by feral mink in self-sustained populations.