Rodent-borne diseases and their risks for public health

Crit Rev Microbiol. 2009;35(3):221-70. doi: 10.1080/10408410902989837.


Rodents are the most abundant and diversified order of living mammals in the world. Already since the Middle Ages we know that they can contribute to human disease, as black rats were associated with distribution of plague. However, also in modern times rodents form a threat for public health. In this review article a large number of pathogens that are directly or indirectly transmitted by rodents are described. Moreover, a simplified rodent disease model is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Reservoirs*
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Risk
  • Rodentia*
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology*
  • Zoonoses / transmission*