Rat bite disease

Last Updated: 2023-07-07

Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.

ICD11: 1B90

Place 1926.

Erythema arthriticum epidemicum, Haverhill fever, bacterial rat-bite disease, sodocu.

Infection caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis, a gram-negative, pleomorphic bacillus.

  • Rare disease in Central Europe.
  • More common in Asia.

  • Triggers are a rat bite or contaminated food.
  • Pathogen: Streptobacillus moniliformis or Spirillum minus (spiral rat bite fever).
  • Incubation period: 1-5 days.

  • Reduced general condition, febrile temperatures, chills, cephalgias, myalgias and gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • After up to 3 days, there is the appearance of maculopapular exanthema on the extremities and palmoplantar. Petechiae may also be seen.

  • Travel history.
  • Clinical.
  • Blood cultures.
  • CAVE: Lues serology can be false-positive.


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