Rat bite fever (RBF)


RBF is an infectious disease that is caused by two different types of bacteria. The two bacterias are Streptobacillus moniliformis and Spirillum minus. Consumption of contaminated food or water is the major cause for the prevalence of this disease. Rodents are the major carriers of this infection. If not treated properly RBF could be serious or sometimes even fatal.
RBF can be of two types : 1) Streptobacillary RBF  2) Spirillary RBF

     Streptobacillary RBF                              Spirillary RBF
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Rash
  • Small bumps on the face 
  • Joints may swell , turn red
  • Fever (that may occur repeatedly)
  • Development of an ulcer at the site of bite (wound)
  • Swelling near the wound
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rash (occurs post the partial healing of the wound)

NOTE : The notable difference between the two would be more severe vomiting and sore throat incase of spirillary RBF.

Tests to diagnose: 

1) Physical examination will be conducted by the health care provider.

2) Tests will be done to detect bacteria in:

  • Skin
  • Blood
  • Joint fluid
  • Lymph nodes

 Antibiotics (penicillin) will be prescribed by the doctor for a period of 7-14 days.