|New Viruses And Superbugs Found In House Mice Droppings In New York|
According to CNN, a yearlong assessment of the city’s residential mouse population found that what many of these rodents do carry are previously unseen viruses as well as bacteria capable of causing life-threatening human illness. Some of the bacteria carried by these mice were even antibiotic-resistant. New research on the mice that inhabit most New York City domiciles was published Tuesday in mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
“Mouse droppings may contain harmful bacteria that are difficult to treat with common antibiotics,” said Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, senior author of the two papers resulting from the study and a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Contaminated areas should be thoroughly cleaned, and contaminated food should be discarded.”
Lipkin and his colleagues collected 416 mice from residential buildings at seven sites in four of New York City’s five boroughs (Staten Island was excluded) over the course of one year in order to conduct this study. Primarily, the scientists caught the mice in or around garbage disposal areas in sub-basements, though five mice were trapped in food preparation/storage areas of a commercial building, and a single mouse was imprisoned in a private apartment.