SARS-CoV2 spike protein gene variants with N501T and G142D mutation-dominated infections in mink in the United States.J Vet Diagn Invest. 2021 Sep; 33(5):939-942.JV
Large numbers of mink have been infected with SARS-CoV2 containing the spike protein Y453F mutation in Europe, causing zoonosis concerns. To evaluate the genetic characteristics of the U.S. and Canadian mink-derived SARS-CoV2 sequences, we analyzed all animal-derived (977) and all Canadian (19,529) and U.S. (173,277) SARS-CoV2 sequences deposited in GISAID from December 2019 to March 12, 2021, and identified 2 dominant novel variants, the N501T-G142D variant and N501T-G142D-F486L variant, in the U.S. mink-derived SARS-CoV2 sequences. These variants were not found in mink from Canada or other countries. The Y453F mutation was not identified in the mink-derived sequences in the United States and Canada. The N501T mutation occurred 2 mo earlier in humans than in mink in the United States, and the novel N501T-G142D and N501T-G142D-F486L variants were found in humans prior to mink. Our results suggest that the novel SARS-CoV2 variants may have evolved during human infection and were then transmitted to mink populations in the United States.