Virusenteritis is caused by a parvovirus. The parvovirus is a very resistant virus and can keep the infectivity for several years.

The spread of the virus is most often aerogen, but can also be spread by faecal contaminated water, feed, or passive by the farmer.

The incubation period is 4-7 days. Already 2 days after the infection a massive virus reproduction in the intestinal epithel and lymphoid tissue begins. This results in quick cell destruction in the intestinal villi.

4-6 days after the infection virus are excreted in the faeces and from day 7 antibodies can be measured in serum.



The first symptoms include suddenly anorexia and depression followed by watery, mucoid diarrhoea. The diarrhoea is followed by abound greyish-white slime from the intestine, perhaps mixed with blood. Later a rejection of the intestine membrane can occur (krup membranes) mixed with blood – popular called “schrimps”.


At post mortem section the mesenterial lymph nodes are enlarged. In the intestine are seen katarrhalsk-haemorrhagisk enteritis and the upper part of the small intestine is flaccid, dilated, thin and hyperaemic.

If one wants to use faeces for diagnostic test, it is important to remember, that virus is only excreted in few days after the first symptoms. It is therefore necessary to take 5 faeces samples from different animals and pick out the animals very carefully.


Preferable prophylactic vaccination of all minks at 6-10 weeks of age.

In an outbreak all mink showing symptoms should be killed and all clinically normal mink should be vaccinated immediately. 

More information

- Wikipedia article about Virusenteritis


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