Information was sought on the varied responses of royal pastel mink (a non-Aleutian genotype) to Aleutian disease virus of low virulence. Thus, of 20 yearling female pastel mink inoculated subcutaneously with a large amount of the Pullman strain of Aleutian disease virus, only 3 succumbed to the disease. Of the other 17 mink, 3 had neither viremia nor a rise in level of serum gamma globulin during the 24 weeks after inoculation. The other 14 mink were viremic for variable periods during the first 12 weeks. In only five mink was the viremia accompanied by elevated levels of serum gamma globulin, usually from week 8 on. Of the 16 subclinically infected mink that did not succumb to intercurrent disease and otherwise remained healthy, 9 were examined at 19 to 31 months for persisting virus. In only one mink, small amounts were detected in the mesenteric lymph node and spleen nearly 28 months after inoculation. The other seven mink that survived the infection were not protected when challenged 31 months later with a small amount of the highly virulent Utah-1 strain. Even though still poorly understood, these varied responses of the royal pastel mink to infection with Aleutian disease virus of low virulence have important pathogenetic and epidemiological implications
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