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"Cluster 5", also referred to as ΔFVI-spike by the Danish Statens Serum Institut (SSI), is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, that is believed to be extinct.It was discovered in November 2020 in North Jutland, Denmark, and is believed to have been spread from minks to humans via mink farms. After its discovery the mink population in Denmark was culled to prevent the possible spread of this mutation and reduce the risk of new mutations happening. A lockdown and travel restrictions were introduced in seven municipalities of North Jutland to prevent the mutation from spreading, which could compromise national or international responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that cluster 5 has a "moderately decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies".SSI warned that the mutation could reduce the effect of COVID-19 vaccines under development, although it was unlikely to render them useless. Following the lockdown and mass-testing, SSI announced on 19 November 2020 that cluster 5 in all probability had become extinct.
In 2019, Denmark was the largest producer of mink fur in the world,with the vast majority of the Danish farms located in northern and western Jutland. In recent years the industry had generally been in decline in the country. Along with bats, pangolins, and humans, minks are one of the many mammal species that can be infected with coronaviruses.
Although the role of pangolins in the spread of COVID-19 was gradually being dismissed by scientists,several articles claimed that Chinese mink farms may have played a role in the emergence of COVID-19. In partnership with science journalist Yves Sciama, they conducted an investigation for Reporterre between November and December 2020. The day after, transmission of the virus from minks to humans, and mutations related to mink, were documented in the journal Science , which prompted the government to bring forward to the end of 2020 a ban on mink farming previously scheduled to go into effect in 2024. After the discovery in the Netherlands, the authorities in Denmark initiated a large-scale surveillance program of all mink farms in the country, with regular testing and genomic sequencing. The sequences of the Danish and Dutch mink-related viruses were deposited with the GISAID database. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that cases of minks ill with COVID-19 had been documented in Utah in August 2020. Additional outbreaks have been detected in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Oregon. As of 29 November 2020, COVID-19 infections in mink have been reported in Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United States.
In Denmark, there have been five clusters of mink variants of SARS-CoV-2; the Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) has designated these as clusters 1–5 (Danish: cluster 1–5). In cluster 5, also referred to as ΔFVI‑spike by the SSI, several different mutations in the spike protein of the virus have been confirmed. The specific mutations include 69–70deltaHV (a deletion of the histidine and valine residues at the 69th and 70th position in the protein), Y453F (a change from tyrosine to phenylalanine at position 453, inside the spike protein's receptor-binding domain), I692V (isoleucine to valine at position 692), M1229I (methionine to isoleucine at position 1229), and a non-conservative substitution S1147L.
Mink-related mutations that partially resemble the mutations discovered in Denmark, although part of a separate genomic group, are known from the Netherlands.
On 5 November, BBC News reported that 12 cases of human infection with the cluster 5 variant had been detected.A week later, an ECDC rapid risk assessment report indicated that 214 mink-related human cases had occurred, however, few of these, if any, are believed to have been additional cases related to the Cluster 5 outbreak. By 20 November, no further human cases of the Cluster 5 strain were being detected despite widespread genetic sequencing which revealed 750 cases related to mink, and it was assessed that the Cluster 5 variant was no longer circulating in humans.
By 2 November 2020, the Danish state-owned independent research institute Statens Serum Institut (SSI) detected mutated variants of SARS-CoV-2 that could infect humans and could have dangerous effects in mink farms; human infections were associated with 191 positive mink farms. They publicly reported this on 3 November, calling variants with a known association to three farms "Cluster 5".On 4 November 2020, Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen stated that a mutated coronavirus was being transmitted to humans via minks, tied primarily to mink farms in North Jutland. A report by the SSI found that there had been 12 human infections (8 directly associated with mink farms, 4 in the nearby community) involving this mutation in Northern Jutland (being referred to as "cluster 5"), and its Antibody response was weaker. While the institute stated that the mutation appeared to be no more dangerous than other coronaviruses by itself, Kåre Mølbak and Tyra Grove Krause of the SSI warned that the mutation potentially could reduce the effect of COVID-19 vaccines currently under development, although it was unlikely to render them useless. Furthermore, the weaker antibody response was shown to reduce immunity acquired by a prior infection. SSI noted that while cluster 5 was of some concern, they were also worried about potential future mutations that could appear in mink, leading to their recommendation of closing down all the farms in the country.
As a preventative measure, Frederiksen announced that the country was already in the process of culling its mink population of about 14 million (initial reports of 15–17 million were based on estimates from earlier years when the industry was larger). To prevent spread of the mutation, it was also announced on 5 November that a lockdown and movement restrictions would be implemented in the North Jutland municipalities of Brønderslev, Frederikshavn, Hjørring, Jammerbugt, Læsø, Thisted, and Vesthimmerland effective 6 November, All cultural institutions, cinemas, theatres, sports and leisure facilities, and dine-in restaurants were ordered closed, and travel into or out of the municipalities was prohibited. Public transport was suspended 9 November. Mass-testing was initiated (Denmark already had one of the world's highest test rates) and trace programs were further upscaled. The restrictions in Northern Jutland were initially planned to last until 3 December, but they could be reversed earlier depending on the speed of the mink culling and mass-testing of people, and if no new cases of cluster 5 were located.
The WHO released a statement on the SARS-CoV-2 variants on 6 November.It explained that this cluster had a combination of mutations that had not been previously observed. The variant had moderately decreased sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies, but further studies would be required to understand implications regarding diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. This was later echoed in a risk assessment published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which notes that the risk for the mink-related variants is similar to the general COVID-19 risk, but could be reassessed if the concerns raised regarding immunity, reinfection, vaccination, and treatment are confirmed when it comes to cluster 5 in particular, also noting that virus circulation in mink farms could pose other issues in the future, and providing guidelines for managing the risk. In late November, more than 10 million had been culled.
On 6 November, the United Kingdom announced that Denmark would be removed from the "corridor" whitelist of countries from which travellers may return without self-isolating for 14 days, citing the cluster-5 variant.On 7 November, the United Kingdom announced that it would also prohibit entry by non-residents travelling from Denmark, and non-residents who had been to Denmark within the past 14 days. British citizens were still allowed to return home, but they, as well as all other members of their household, were required to self-isolate for 14 days. This travel ban was to be reviewed after a week. The restrictions were eventually lifted on 28 November.
Following mass-testing, SSI announced on 19 November 2020 that they had found no new cases of cluster 5 and it was in all probability extinct. The special restrictions placed on some North Jutland municipalities were lifted on 19–20 November (they are still subjected to the standard COVID-19 restrictions that cover the entire country and are unrelated to the mink mutations).
It was revealed in late November that the Minister for Agriculture, Mogens Jensen, and five other ministers had been made aware in September that the culling of the entire country's mink population, rather than just those in the infected areas, would be illegal. Facing calls for resignation from the parliamentary opposition and sharp public criticism, billion and 18.8 DKK (c. 2.1 billion EUR – c. 2.5 billion EUR).Prime Minister Frederiksen acknowledged that the order to cull all minks was illegal, and Jensen resigned on 18 November. A deal was later reached to retroactively make the government's order legal. On 21 December 2020, in the Parliament of Denmark, the government and parliament's left wing parties passed a bill outlawing all mink production throughout 2021. The bill does not contain provisions to remove legal responsibility for the previous culling but does retroactively legalize a bonus payout for swifter cullings. The opposition parties (V, C, O, NB, LA) opposed. On 25 January 2021, a majority in the Danish parliament reached an agreement to compensate Danish mink farmers and others making a living off of mink farming for between 15.6
Mink are dark-colored, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals of the genera Neogale and Mustela and part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, otters, and ferrets. There are two extant species referred to as "mink": the American mink and the European mink. The extinct sea mink is related to the American mink but was much larger.
Fur farming is the practice of breeding or raising certain types of animals for their fur.
Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets and minks.
The mink industry in Denmark produced 40 percent of the world's pelts, Denmark used to be the largest producer of mink skins in the world. Ranked third in Denmark's agricultural export items of animal origin, fur and mink skins have a yearly export value of about €500 million. Kopenhagen Fur, located in Copenhagen, is the world's largest fur auction house; annually, it sells approximately 14 million Danish mink skins produced by 2,000 Danish fur farmers, and 7 million mink skins produced in other countries. Mink produced in Denmark was considered to be the finest in the world and is ranked by grade, with the best being Saga Royal, followed by Saga, Quality 1, and Quality 2.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2), is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the respiratory illness responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The virus was previously referred to by its provisional name, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and has also been called human coronavirus 2019. First identified in the city of Wuhan, Hubei, China, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. SARS‑CoV‑2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that is contagious in humans. As described by the US National Institutes of Health, it is the successor to SARS-CoV-1, the virus that caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The disease has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Denmark is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The virus was first confirmed to have spread to Denmark on 27 February 2020.
COVID-20 or COVID-21 may refer to:
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected animals directly and indirectly. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is zoonotic, which likely to have originated from animals such as bats and pangolins. Human impact on wildlife and animal habitats may be causing such spillover events to become much more likely. The largest incident to date was the culling of 14 to 17 million mink in Denmark after it was discovered that they were infected with a mutant strain of the virus.
This article documents the chronology of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in November 2020, which originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Some developments may become known or fully understood only in retrospect. Reporting on this pandemic began in December 2019.
The Alpha variant, also known as lineage B.1.1.7, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One of several variants of concern, the variant is estimated to be 40–80% more transmissible than the wild-type SARS-CoV-2. It was first detected in November 2020 from a sample taken in September in the United Kingdom, and began to spread quickly by mid-December, around the same time as infections surged. This increase is thought to be at least partly because of one or more mutations in the virus' spike protein. The variant is also notable for having more mutations than normally seen.
Beta variant, also known as lineage B.1.351, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. One of several SARS-CoV-2 variants believed to be of particular importance, it was first detected in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan area of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa in October 2020, which was reported by the country's health department on 18 December 2020. Phylogeographic analysis suggests this variant emerged in the Nelson Mandela Bay area in July or August 2020.
There are many variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Some are believed, or have been stated, to be of particular importance due to their potential for increased transmissibility, increased virulence, or reduced effectiveness of vaccines against them. These variants contribute to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gamma variant, also known as lineage P.1, is one of the variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been named lineage P.1 and has 17 amino acid substitutions, ten of which in its spike protein, including these three designated to be of particular concern: N501Y, E484K and K417T. This variant of SARS-CoV-2 was first detected by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) of Japan, on 6 January 2021 in four people who had arrived in Tokyo having visited Amazonas, Brazil, four days earlier. It was subsequently declared to be in circulation in Brazil. Under the simplified naming scheme proposed by the World Health Organization, P.1 has been labeled Gamma variant, and is currently considered a variant of concern.
The term variant of concern (VOC) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is a category used for variants of the virus where mutations in their spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) substantially increase binding affinity in RBD-hACE2 complex, while also being linked to rapid spread in human populations.
Iota variant, also known as lineage B.1.526, is one of the variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first detected in New York City in November 2020. The variant has appeared with two notable mutations: the E484K spike mutation, which may help the virus evade antibodies, and the S477N mutation, which may help the virus bind more tightly to human cells.
The Delta variant is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first detected in India in late 2020. The Delta variant was named on 31 May 2021 and had spread to over 179 countries by 22 November 2021. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated in June 2021 that the Delta variant is becoming the dominant strain globally.
Kappa variant is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is one of the three sublineages of Pango lineage B.1.617. The SARS-CoV-2 Kappa variant is also known as lineage B.1.617.1 and was first detected in India in December 2020. By the end of March 2021, the Kappa sub-variant accounted for more than half of the sequences being submitted from India. On 1 April 2021, it was designated a Variant Under Investigation (VUI-21APR-01) by Public Health England.
The Eta variant is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Eta variant or lineage B.1.525, also called VUI-21FEB-03 by Public Health England (PHE) and formerly known as UK1188, 21D or 20A/S:484K, does not carry the same N501Y mutation found in Alpha, Beta and Gamma, but carries the same E484K-mutation as found in the Gamma, Zeta, and Beta variants, and also carries the same ΔH69/ΔV70 deletion as found in Alpha, N439K variant and Y453F variant.
The Omicron variant is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on 24 November 2021. On 26 November 2021, the WHO designated it as a variant of concern and named it after omicron, the fifteenth letter in the Greek alphabet.
Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden are the other nations to have discovered SARS-CoV-2 in minks, WHO said in a statement.
Six countries have reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 in farmed minks, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy and the US, according to the WHO.
[...] (hereafter referred to as ΔFVI-spike). [...] These include: i) 69-70deltaHV – a deletion of a histidine and valine at amino acid positions 69 and 70 in the N-terminal domain of the S1 subunit; ii) I692V – a conservative substitution at position 692 that is located seven amino acids downstream of the furin cleavage site; iii) S1147L – a non-conservative substitution at position 1147 in the S2 subunit; and iv) M1229I – a conservative substitution located within the transmembrane domain