Rat bite fever

Common Name(s)

Rat bite fever

Rat-bite fever (RBF) is an infectious disease caused by two types of bacteria: Streptobacillus moniliformis in North America, known as streptobacillary RBF, and Spirillum minus mainly in Asia, known as spirillary RBF. People can get RBF from bites or scratches from infected rodents, handling rodents with the disease, or consuming food or drink contaminated with the bacteria. RBF is not spread from person to person. People who may be at increased risk include those who live in rat-infested buildings, have pet rats, or work with rats in laboratories or pet stores. Symptoms of streptobacillary RBF include fever, vomiting, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, and rash. These symptoms usually occur 3-10 days after exposure to an infected rodent, and within 2-4 days after the onset of fever, a rash with small bumps may appear on the hands and feet. Symptoms of spirillary RBF (also called sodoku) vary but often include fever, development of an ulcer at the bite wound, swelling near the wound, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash. Without treatment, RBF can be serious and potentially fatal.

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Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Rat bite fever" for support, advocacy or research.

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Rat bite fever" returned 21 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Notes from the field: fatal rat-bite fever in a child - San Diego County, California, 2013.
 

Author(s): Jessica K Adam, Aiden K Varan, Alice L Pong, Eric C McDonald,

Journal: MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep.. 2014 Dec;63(50):1210-1.

 

In August 2013, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency was notified of a fatal case of rat-bite fever (RBF) in a previously healthy male, aged 10 years, who owned pet rats. Two days before his death, the patient experienced rigors, fevers, vomiting, headaches, and ...

Last Updated: 19 Dec 2014

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An unusual tale of rat-bite fever endocarditis.
 

Author(s): Dominic William Fenn, Anil Ramoutar, George Jacob, Han Bin Xiao

Journal:

 

A 49-year-old man presented to our department with an acute history of right leg tenderness, rash, swelling and fever. CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis and a transoesophageal echocardiogram confirmed the diagnosis of mitral valve infective endocarditis with distal splenic emboli. ...

Last Updated: 21 Nov 2014

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Direct detection of indirect transmission of Streptobacillus moniliformis rat bite fever infection.
 

Author(s): Joseph R Mackey, Elsa L Vazquez Melendez, John J Farrell, Kristin S Lowery, Megan A Rounds, Rangarajan Sampath, Robert A Bonomo

Journal: J. Clin. Microbiol.. 2014 Jun;52(6):2259-61.

 

We describe the evaluation of culture-negative synovial fluid from a 3-year-old boy by PCR and electrospray ionization followed by mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS). Our patient developed a diffuse rash and fever with systemic signs and symptoms of sepsis, but four sets of blood cultures ...

Last Updated: 23 May 2014

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Rat bite fever" returned 3 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Approved and novel strategies in diagnostics of rat bite fever and other Streptobacillus infections in humans and animals.
 

Author(s): Tobias Eisenberg, Christa Ewers, Jörg Rau, Valerij Akimkin, Werner Nicklas

Journal: Virulence. 2016 Aug;7(6):630-48.

 

Rat bite fever (RBF), a worldwide occurring and most likely under-diagnosed zoonosis caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis, represents the most prominent disease of Streptobacillus infections. Recently, novel members have been described, from which a reservoir in rats and other animal ...

Last Updated: 29 Jul 2016

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Streptobacillus moniliformis septic arthritis: a clinical entity distinct from rat-bite fever?
 

Author(s): Teresa K F Wang, Samson S Y Wong

Journal:

 

Streptobacillus moniliformis is a zoonotic agent associated with rodent contacts. Although it is more commonly reported to cause rat-bite fever with reactive arthritides, it can also lead to pyogenic infection of the joints.

Last Updated: 28 Jun 2007

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Rat bite fever and Streptobacillus moniliformis.
 

Author(s): Sean P Elliott

Journal: Clin. Microbiol. Rev.. 2007 Jan;20(1):13-22.

 

Rat bite fever, caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis, is a systemic illness classically characterized by fever, rigors, and polyarthralgias. If left untreated, it carries a mortality rate of 10%. Unfortunately, its nonspecific initial presentation combined with difficulties in culturing ...

Last Updated: 15 Jan 2007

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

There are currently no open clinical trials for this condition.