Latest News from BPCA

10 May 2018

NYC study reveals the dangers of mice

Study finds New York mice harboured disease-causing bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes.

When you think New York pest problems, your mind might well jump straight to rats. After all, New York City gave us the rat safari (featured in PPC89) and the viral sensation of “pizza rat”.

However, new research conducted by researchers at Columbia University has brought the dangers of the house mouse (mus musculus) into the headlines.

The study looked at more than 400 mice in apartment building basements in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Researchers took swabs of the mice, gathered faeces from the traps, and conducted a battery of genetic tests.

As you might expect, the mice carried many bacteria, including C. difficile, E. coli, Shigella, as well as Salmonella. Sequencing of faeces revealed 36 viruses from 18 families and 21 genera, including at least six never seen before viruses (novel virus).

More importantly, they found evidence of genes that encourage resistance to common antibiotics. 

Senior author of the paper, W. Ian Lipkin, said:

“From a public health vantage point, mice are more worrisome because they live indoors and are more likely to contaminate our environment, even if we don't see them.”


Scott-Johnstone-Staff-bubbleScott Johnstone
Content and Communications Officer
10 May 2017  |  BPCA Online

Source: Online

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