Sodoku is a bacterial zoonotic disease. It is caused by outnumbered spirochaete Spirillum minus. It is a form of rat-bite fever (RBF).


The infections are acquired through rat bites or scratches. It can occur as nosocomial infections (ie, acquired from hospitals), or due to exposure or close associations with animals predating rats, mice, squirrels etc. Sodoku is mostly seen in Asia. The incubation period is 4 to 28 days.

Presentation and symptoms

The initial scratch or wound caused by bite from a carrier rodent will result in mild inflammatory reactions and ulcerations. The wounds may heal initially, but reappears with the onset of symptoms. The symptoms include recurring fever, with body temperature 101-104 °F (38-40°C). The fever lasts for 2-4 days but recur generally at 4-8 weeks. This cycle may continue for months or years together. The other symptoms include regional lymphadenitis, malaise and headache. The complications include myocarditis, endocarditis, hepatitis, splenomegaly and meningitis.


Mortality ranges from 6-10%.

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