Rat Bite Fever

Rat-bite fever (RBF) is an infectious disease caused by two different bacteria:

  • Streptobacillus moniliformis, the only reported bacteria that causes RBF in North America (streptobacillary RBF)
  • Spirillum minus, common in Asia (spirillary RBF, also known as sodoku)

People typically become infected with these bacteria after contact with rodents carrying the bacteria. A person can also get infected through consumption of food or water contaminated with the urine and droppings of rodents carrying the bacteria. This is known as Haverhill fever.

If not treated, RBF can be a serious or even fatal disease.

image of a worker in a rodent lab

Who is at Risk?

image of researcher looking through a micrscope.


person putting peanut butter on a mouse trap

Prevent Rodent Infestations