Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Rat Bite Fever Underlying Cause

Rat bite fever is caused by one of two bacteria that are normally present in a rat's mouth:

  • Streptobacillus moniliformis
  • Spirillum minus

The bacteria may be transmitted to humans during a bite from a rat. Infections have also been reported after bites from squirrels, weasels and gerbils.

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Rat Bite Fever References
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Rat-bite fever--New Mexico, 1996. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1998 Feb 13;47(5):89-91. [9480409]
  2. Graves MH, Janda JM. Rat-bite fever (Streptobacillus moniliformis): a potential emerging disease. Int J Infect Dis. 2001;5(3):151-5. [11724672]
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