Rat bite fever

Vet Microbiol. 2009 Jan 13;133(3):211-28. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.079. Epub 2008 Oct 8.


Rat bite fever (RBF) is a bacterial zoonosis for which two causal bacterial species have been identified: Streptobacillis moniliformis and Spirillum minus. Haverhill fever (HF) is a form of S. moniliformis infection believed to develop after ingestion of contaminated food or water. Here the infectious agents, their host species, pathogenicity (virulence factors and host susceptibility), diagnostic methods, therapy, epidemiology, transmission and prevention are described. Special emphasis is given on information from the field of laboratory animal microbiology and suggestions for future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Rat-Bite Fever / microbiology*
  • Rats
  • Spirillum*
  • Streptobacillus*