murine typhus

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mu·rine ty·phus

a milder form of epidemic typhus caused by Rickettsia typhi and transmitted to humans by rat or mouse fleas.

murine typhus

A mild, acute, endemic form of typhus caused by the microorganism Rickettsia typhi, transmitted from rats to humans by fleas and characterized by fever, headache, and muscular pain. Also called endemic typhus.

murine typhus

Etymology: L, mus, mouse; Gk, typhos, stupor
an acute arbovirus infection caused by Rickettsia typhi and transmitted by the bite of an infected flea. The disease is similar to epidemic typhus but less severe. It is characterized by headache, chills, fever, myalgia, and rash. After an 8- to 16-day incubation period, fever develops and lasts about 12 days. A dull-red maculopapular rash, mainly on the trunk, appears about the fifth day and lasts for 4 to 8 days. Recovery is usually rapid and complete, but death has occurred in elderly or debilitated people. Weil-Felix and complement fixation tests aid in the diagnosis. Chloramphenicol or tetracycline is usually prescribed in treatment. Prevention involves the elimination of the rodents that are the natural host of the organism and the use of appropriate insecticides to control fleas. Also called endemic typhus, flea-borne typhus, New World typhus, rat typhus, urban typhus. Compare epidemic typhus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever. See also Brill-Zinsser disease.

murine typhus

An acute rickettsial infection characterised by fever, headache and rash, similar to (but milder than) epidemic typhus, caused by Rickettsia typhi.  MT occurs sporadically worldwide; it is more prevalent in congested rat-infested urban areas. In the US, it occurs in California, Texas and Hawaii.

Clinical findings
Rash, headache, fever, chills, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, cough; nearly half of patients develop neurological signs (e.g.,  confusion, stupor, seizures, incoordination).

Measles, rubella, Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

R typhi is transmitted to humans by rat fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis), Reservoir Rats, mice and other rodents.

Tetracycline, chloramphenical.

mu·rine ty·phus

(myūr-ēn' tī'fŭs)
A milder form of epidemic typhus caused by Rickettsia typhi and transmitted to humans by fleas from rats or mice.
Synonym(s): endemic typhus.

murine typhus

An acute but comparatively mild disease featuring fever, headache, muscle aches and a slightly raised MACULAR skin rash. It is caused by Rickettsia mooseri , harboured by rats, and transmitted to humans by the flea Xenopsylla cheopis .


pertaining to or affecting mice or rats. Strictly speaking refers to members of the subfamily Murinae, the Old World rats and mice. See also mouse.

chronic murine pneumonia
see murine respiratory mycoplasmosis (above).
chronic murine respiratory disease
see murine respiratory mycoplasmosis.
murine epizootic diarrhea
occurs in young mice up to 3 weeks of age. Caused by a rotavirus and characterized by mucoid yellow diarrhea, a high morbidity but a low mortality. Called also epizootic diarrhea of infant mice (EDIM).
murine leukemia virus
a number of viruses in the family Retroviridae which are associated with the naturally occurring and experimentally induced leukemia or lymphosarcoma in mice.
murine respiratory mycoplasmosis
a disease of mice caused by Mycoplasma pulmonis and characterized by dyspnea, nasal discharge, head tilt and incoordination. In most mice, infection occurs without clinical signs. Called also chronic respiratory disease of rats and mice, chronic murine pneumonia.
murine typhus
a disease of rats caused by Rickettsia typhi, transmitted by the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis and the rat louse Polyplax spinulosa. It is an important disease of humans.


acute infectious diseases caused by Rickettsia which are usually transmitted from infected rats and other rodents to humans by lice, fleas, ticks and mites.

Abyssinian tick typhus
canine typhus, canine tick typhus
see canine ehrlichiosis.
epidemic typhus
see rickettsiaprowazeki.
Kenya typhus
murine typhus
a disease of humans caused by Rickettsia typhae; rats and cats are the mammalian reservoir.
Queensland tick typhus
caused by Rickettsia australis. See queensland tick typhus.
Sao Paulo typhus
scrub typhus
caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi. Wild rodents and occasionally dogs may be hosts.