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November 8, 1965

Immunoglobulins in Mink Ranchers Associated With Aleutian Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University Hospitals, Minneapolis (Drs. R. C. Williams and Wollheim), and Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare (Dr. L. P. Williams).

JAMA. 1965;194(6):605-608. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090190027007

Aleutian disease (AD) is characterized in mink by marked hypergammaglobulinemia; plasma-cell infiltration of liver, kidneys, and lymph nodes; and terminal bleeding tendency. A survey of fur-farm associates was prompted by a report of a fatal illness, similar in some clinical and pathological aspects to AD, in a mink rancher. Particular attention was directed toward quantitative measurement of immunoglobulins IgG, IgA, and IgM as an index of possible subclinical AD infection. No distinct immunoglobulin abnormalities among the fur-farm associates were uncovered when compared to controls matched for age and sex. Since the presumed infectious agent has not yet been isolated or characterized, direct serologic testing for specific AD antibody among mink handlers cannot yet be evaluated.