House mice carry bacteria that are responsible for life-threatening gastrointestinal infections, including drug-resistant strains. Are mouse droppings dangerous?
The domestic mouse is a small rodent mammal living in the immediate vicinity of humans. Mice nest in all types of homes in the city and in the countryside, as well as in home gardens and city parks. Generally, a house mouse cannot survive away from human settlements. Mice are considered pests because they spread dangerous infectious diseases, contaminate food and destroy human property.
Researchers captured 416 mice living in residential buildings at seven different locations in New York.
Studying rodent droppings, the researchers found that they carry several species of pathogenic bacteria, including C. difficile, E. coli, Shigella and Salmonella. The latter pathogen causes 1.4 million cases annually in the US, 15,000. hospitalizations and 400 deaths.
Threats to health and property
Mice carry dangerous diseases such as leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tapeworms and rabies. The most common cause of infection in humans is the consumption of food contaminated with mouse faeces. In addition to spreading diseases, the house mouse destroys crop and food supplies as well as building structures. By contaminating food with their droppings, urine and hair, rodents destroy much more food than they can eat. In addition, by biting everything in their surroundings, mice can seriously damage wooden building structures, walls, electric and telephone cables, installations as well as other home furnishings. In this way, rodents cause significant property losses to both private individuals and public institutions.
However, bacteria are not the only threat. New York scientists also checked what viruses are present in mouse droppings. 36 species were added, including 6 previously unknown. Although none of them proved to be dangerous to humans, some pathogens contained genetic sequences characteristic of viruses capable of causing serious diseases of dogs, pigs and poultry.
New Yorkers focus their fears on rats, because they are larger and more often seen on the streets, in parks or on the subway. However, from the point of view of public health, mice pose a much greater threat, primarily because they get inside our homes and apartments much easier, so people’s contact with their droppings is more likely