Rat-bite fever


Rat-bite fever

Rat-bite fever is an acute, febrile human illness caused by bacteria transmitted by rodents, rats in most cases, which is passed from rodent to human via the rodent's urine or mucous secretions.

Causes

Two types of gram-negative facultatively anaerobic bacteria can cause the infection.

pirillosis

Rat-bite fever transmitted by the gram-negative spirochaete "Spirillum minus" is more rare, and is found most often in Asia. In Japan the disease is called Sodoku. Symptoms do not manifest for two to four weeks after exposure to the organism, and the wound through which it entered exhibits slow healing and marked inflammation. The fever lasts longer and is recurring, for months in some cases. Joint pain and gastrointestinal symptoms are less severe or are absent. Penicillin is the most common treatment.

treptobacillosis

The Streptobacillosis form of rat-bite fever is known by the alternative names Haverhill Fever and epidemic arthritic erythema. It is a severe disease caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis, transmitted either by rat bite or ingestion of contaminated products (Haverhill fever). After an incubation period of around 10 days, Haverhill fever begins with high prostrating fevers, rigors, headache and polyarthralgia. Soon an exanthem appears, either maculopapular or petechial and arthritis of large joints can be seen. The organism can be cultivated in blood or articular fluid. The disease can be fatal if untreated in 10% of cases due to malignant endocarditis, meningoencephalitis or septic shock. Treatment is with penicillin or tetracycline.

Treatment

Responds to penicillin antibiotics or where allergic to this erythromycin or tetracyclines for respectively streptobacillary or spirillary infections.

Prevention

Whilst obviously preventable by staying away from rodents, otherwise hands and face should be washed after contact and any scratches both cleaned and antiseptics applied.

External links

* [http://www.chclibrary.org/micromed/00063170.html Rat-bite fever description]
* [http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5351a2.htm Case report of fatal incidence in the USA]
* [http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/transform.jsp?requestURI=/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/rat-bite_fever.jsp Rat-bite fever (healthAtoZ.com)]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rat-bite fever — n either of two febrile human diseases usu. transmitted by the bite of a rat: a) a septicemia marked by irregular relapsing fever, rashes, muscular pain and arthritis, and great weakness and caused by a bacterium of the genus Streptobacillus (S.… …   Medical dictionary

  • rat|bite fever — or rat|bite disease «RAT BYT», a disease characterized by fever, ulceration, and a purplish rash, caused by the bite of a rat or other infected animal …   Useful english dictionary

  • rat-bite fever — ▪ pathology also called  spirillary rat bite fever  or  sodoku        relapsing type of infection caused by the bacterium Spirillum minus (also called Spirillum minor) and transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected rat. It is characterized… …   Universalium

  • rat-bite fever — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun : either of two febrile diseases of man commonly transmitted by the bite of a rat or other animal vector: a. : a septicemia marked by irregular relapsing fever, rashes, muscular pain and arthritis, and great weakness and caused by …   Useful english dictionary

  • rat-bite fever — sodokosis a disease, contracted from the bite of a rat, due to infection by either the bacterium Spirillum minus, which causes ulceration of the skin and recurrent fever, or by the fungus Streptobacillus moniliformis, which causes inflammation of …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • rat-bite fever — noun Date: 1910 either of two febrile bacterial diseases of humans usually transmitted by the bite of a rat …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Лихорадка Укуса Крысы (Rat-Bite Fever), Содокоз (Sodo/Cosis) — заболевание, возникающее после укуса крысы при попадании в организм человека бактерий вида Spirillum minus, вызывающих изъязвление кожи и возвратную лихорадку, или грибков вида Streptobacillus moniliformis, которые вызывают воспаление кожи,… …   Медицинские термины

  • rat|bite disease — rat|bite fever or rat|bite disease «RAT BYT», a disease characterized by fever, ulceration, and a purplish rash, caused by the bite of a rat or other infected animal …   Useful english dictionary

  • rat-bite disease — see under fever …   Medical dictionary

  • rat-bitefever — rat bite fever (rătʹbīt ) n. Either of two infectious diseases contractible from the bite of a rat, specifically: a. A disease caused by the bacterium Streptobacillus moniliformis and characterized by skin inflammation, back and joint pains,… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.