Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
House mice do not cause such serious health and economic problems as do Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus. Mice are agricultural pests in some areas, however, and they do consume and contaminate stored human food with their droppings. They also destroy woodwork, furniture, upholstery, and clothing. In addition, they contribute to the spread of diseases such as murine typhus, rickettsial pox, tularemia, food poisoning (Salmonella), and bubonic plague. Recent research has also shown that they carry a virus--the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)--that may contribute to breast cancer in humans.
Negative Impacts: injures humans (carries human disease); crop pest; household pest
- Indik, S., W. Günzburg, B. Salmons, F. Rouault. 2005. Mouse mammary tumor virus infects human cells. Cancer Research, 65 (15): 6651-6659.
- Stewart, T., R. Sage, A. Stewart, D. Cameron. 2000. Breast cancer incidence highest in the range of one species of house mouse, Mus domesticus. British Journal of Cancer, 82(2): 446-451.
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