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Review article2012Peer reviewedOpen access

Rodents on pig and chicken farms - a potential threat to human and animal health

Backhans, Annette; Fellström, Claes


Rodents can cause major problems through spreading various diseases to animals and humans. The two main species of rodents most commonly found on farms around the world are the house mouse (Mus musculus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). Both species are omnivorous and can breed year-round under favourable conditions. This review describes the occurrence of pathogens in rodents on specialist pig and chicken farms, which are usually closed units with a high level of bio-security. However, wild rodents may be difficult to exclude completely, even from these sites, and can pose a risk of introducing and spreading pathogens. This article reviews current knowledge regarding rodents as a hazard for spreading disease on farms. Most literature available regards zoonotic pathogens, while the literature regarding pathogens that cause disease in farm animals is more limited.

Published in

Infection Ecology & Epidemiology
2012, Volume: 2, number: 1, article number: 17093