APR 22, 2018 7:58 PM PDT

Urban Mice Found to Carry Bacterial Pathogens

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

A recent study by scientists at Columbia University found that mice in New York City are carrying drug-resistant microbes. They surveyed 416 mice, taken from seven residential sites across the city over a year. By assessing the genetic material in their droppings, investigators found that they carried several bacteria that cause stomach distress, including C. difficile, E. coli, Shigella, and Salmonella.

"From tiny studios to penthouse suites, New York City apartments are continually invaded by house mice," said the lead author of the study, Simon H. Williams, a researcher at the Center for Infection and Immunity. "Our study raises the possibility that serious infections -- including those resistant to antibiotics -- may be passed from these mice to humans, although further research is needed to understand how often this happens, if at all."

This study confirms previous work that also identified microorganisms like C. difficile in urban mice.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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