Streptobacillus spp

From Dog
Culture of S. moniliformis[1]

Streptobacillus are a Gram negative zoonotic facultative bacteria sometimes found in the oral cavity of dogs.

Species which are pathogenic are:

  • Streptobacillus moniliformis[2]

This peculiar and rare disease may develop following the bite of a rat or, even more rarely, by the ingestion of contaminated food or drink.

Clinicalo symptoms in humans include an acute onset, low grade intermittent fever, sporadic rash, and severe prolonged joint pain and arthritis. If the organisms are ingested gastrointestinal signs may be marked.

Dogs become infected with this bacteria from eating rodents[3], and can transmit the bacteria to humans via licking or biting, resulting in rat-bite fever[4].

In one reported case of a fatal canine infection, the dog presented with bacteremia, diffuse osteomyelitis, purulent polyarthritis, fibrosing periarthritis, endocarditis, interstitial pneumonia and secondary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy[5].

Broad-spectrum antimicrobials are commended such as enrofloxacin or amoxycillin/clavulanate.


  1. Indian journal of Medical Microbiology
  2. Torres L et al (2003) Bacteremia by Streptobacillus moniliformis: first case described in Spain. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 22(4):258-260
  3. Peel MM (1993) Dog-associated bacterial infections in humans: isolates submitted to an Australian reference laboratory, 1981-1992. Pathology 25(4):379-384
  4. Wouters EG et al (2008) Dogs as vectors of Streptobacillus moniliformis infection? Vet Microbiol 128(3-4):419-422
  5. Ditchfield J et al (1961) Streptobacillus Moniliformis Infection in a Dog. Can Vet J 2(12):457-459