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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2018 Oct;111(10):1955-1966. doi: 10.1007/s10482-018-1085-x. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Clinical infection in house rats (Rattus rattus) caused by Streptobacillus notomytis.

Author information

1
Naturschutz-Tierpark Görlitz e. V., Zittauer Str. 43, 02826, Görlitz, Germany.
2
Landesuntersuchungsanstalt für das Gesundheits- und Veterinärwesen Sachsen (LUA), Jägerstr. 8/10, 01099, Dresden, Germany.
3
Landesbetrieb Hessisches Landeslabor (LHL), Schubertstr. 60, 35392, Giessen, Germany.
4
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Cairo University, Giza Square, 12211, Egypt.
5
Institut für Hygiene und Infektionskrankheiten der Tiere, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Frankfurter Str. 89, 35392, Giessen, Germany.
6
Veterinärmedizinische Fakultät, Zentrum für Infektionsmedizin, Institut für Bakteriologie und Mykologie, Universität Leipzig (IBML), An den Tierkliniken 29, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.
7
Landesbetrieb Hessisches Landeslabor (LHL), Schubertstr. 60, 35392, Giessen, Germany. tobias.eisenberg@lhl.hessen.de.
8
Institut für Hygiene und Infektionskrankheiten der Tiere, Justus-Liebig-Universität, Frankfurter Str. 89, 35392, Giessen, Germany. tobias.eisenberg@lhl.hessen.de.

Abstract

Rat bite fever is an under-reported, under-diagnosed emerging zoonosis with worldwide distribution. Besides Spirillum minus, Streptobacillus moniliformis is the major causative microorganism although it usually colonises rats without any clinical signs. A group of house rats (Rattus rattus) kept in a zoo exhibition for educational purposes suffered from neurological signs including disorientation, torticollis, stall walking, ataxia and death. Gross pathological and histo-pathological examinations of the investigated rats revealed high-grade otitis interna et media, from which Streptobacillus notomytis was isolated in pure culture or as the predominant microorganism. This case series underlines a previously expressed hypothesis that R. rattus might be naturally colonised with S. notomytis, whereas the traditional rat bite fever organism, S. moniliformis, might be restricted to the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). However, the general paucity of Streptobacillus isolates, especially from their respective animal hosts, precludes definitive proof of these host tropisms. This is the first report of S. notomytis detection outside Asia and Australia and the first evidence for its role as a facultative pathogen in house rats.

KEYWORDS:

Disease; House rat; Otitis; Rat bite fever; Rattus rattus; Streptobacillus notomytis

PMID:
29671179
DOI:
10.1007/s10482-018-1085-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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