Answer to Case 22

Source:  Answer to Case 22    Tag:  venezuelan hemorrhagic fever
I had specified 'mice' for this week's questions, but I should have generalized it to rodents, since there is considerable overlap among the various disease-carrying species.

Tom made a great start in answering the questions. I will elaborate below. Keep in mind, this is just a list of the more common diseases - there are many more!

1. List 5 infectious diseases spread by rodents:
Tom says:
1. and 2. Rat bite fever ( Streptobacillus moniliformis, Spirillum minor)
3. Hanta virus
4. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis
5. Plague & Leptospira
6. heebie jeepies (right Pritish?)

Here are some other diseases:
Lassa fever, Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and tick-borne encephalitis.

Rocky mountain spotted fever, Boutonneuse fever, scrub typhus, murine typhus, tick-borne relapsing fever, Lyme disease, and salmonellosis (with S. typhimurium)

2. Rodents can act as reservoirs for which parasitic infections?:

Toxoplasma gondii (named after the African rodent it was first described in, Ctenodactylus gundi)
Chagas disease
Cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis
(E. multilocularis and E. vogeli)
Schistosomiasis ( with S. japonicum)
Hymenolepsis (Both H. nana and H. diminuta)

Tom also gave us the following:
"Just remember, these rhyming species carry lots of nasties: rats, bats, & cats (not sure about wombats...)" Although, 'man's best friend' doesn't get off the hook either - more on this in a future case of the week...

It is important to note that rodents can spread disease in a number of ways: the infectious organism can be excreted in urine and then be inhaled following aerosolization (e.g. Hanta virus) or ingested (e.g. Leptospirosis), or the organism can be directly inoculated through a bite (e.g. rat bite fever). Vectors can also be involved such as fleas, ticks, mites, mosquitoes, sand flies, and reduviid bugs. Finally, rodents may harbor a stage of the disease that is not directly infectious to humans and must first be transmitted to another non-human host (e.g. echinococcosis).