Streptobacillus is a genus of aerobic, gram-negative facultative anaerobe bacteria, which grow in culture as rods in chains.

Species associated with infection - S. moniliformis

Reported susceptibilities and therapies - penicillin, erythromycin


Associated infections: the Haverhill fever form of rat bite fever. (Notes Spirillum minus is also an agent of rat bite fever, in the form known as sodoku.)

Haverhill fever, which is characterized by fever, rash, chills, headache, vomiting, muscle pain, arthritis, and bacteremia, and by weight loss and diarrhea in children.


Rat bite fever is caused by either Streptobacillus moniliformis or Spirillum minor. The former is usually the cause in the United States. The later usually is slower in onset, but accompanied by suppuration of the wound. Suppuration is usually missing when S. moniliformis is the cause. The incidence of rat-bite fever is highest in urban areas with poor sanitation where the rat population is high. While the disease is usually caused by a bite, it can also occur from close contact with rodents or ingestion of contaminated food or water. The latter is known as Haverhill fever. The disease starts with chills and fever accompanied by headache, vomiting, and muscle pain. A rash and arthritis develop 2-4 days after the initial onset. As these symptoms are common to many febrile diseases, this is often classified as a fever of unknown origin (FUO). If untreated, endocarditis can occur with death in approximately 10% of cases.


  • Hagelskjaer L, Sørensen I, Randers E (1998). "Streptobacillus moniliformis infection: 2 cases and a literature review". Scand. J. Infect. Dis. 30 (3): 309–11.

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