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Kämmerer, Till; Lesmeister, Tony; Wollenberg, Andreas; French, Lars Einar; Strobel, Erwin and Reinholz, Markus (2021): Rat bite fever, a diagnostic challenge: case report and review of 29 cases. In: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft, Vol. 19, No. 9: pp. 1283-1287

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Rats can transmit Streptobacillus moniliformis, which may cause rat-bite fever (RBF), a rare and potentially lethal zoonosis. Fastidious in vitro growth and unspecific symptoms, including fever, arthralgia, and polymorphous skin lesions, complicate the diagnosis. Rat-bite fever follows exposure to contaminated bodily fluids of infected rodents;however, reports on Streptobacillus moniliformis-related infections are few so far. A female patient presented with painful hemorrhagic pustules and purpuric lesions on hands and feet. She developed fever and migratory polyarthralgia. Blood culture yielded growth with Streptobacillus moniliformis. The patient owned rats and handled contaminated rat feces and urine, making this the most likely etiology of infection. We report a case of RBF due to Streptobacillus moniliformis in a rat handling-patient. Difficulties in clinical and microbiological diagnosis highlight the need for a thorough and complete history-taking and a greater understanding of this rare infectious disease.

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