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Volume 11, Number 7—July 2005

Hedgehog Zoonoses

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To the Editor: The article on hedgehog zoonoses (1) reviews diseases transmitted from African and European hedgehogs to humans but does not compare their infectious potential to that of other animals and people. For example, cats and Yorkshire terriers are well-known vectors of ringworm (2), but this has not been highlighted in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Also, the reports of herpesvirus (including human herpes simplex) hepatitis described in the article occurred as fatal hepatitis in hedgehogs, whereas their owners apparently escaped unscathed. These cases appear to be "reverse zoonoses" that are dangerous for the pet but not its human contacts. Perhaps the misleading table in the article should be revised so that busy medical doctors don't jump to conclusions, and hedgehogs don't end up on the euthanasia list at shelters.


Melissa Behr*Comments to Author 

Author affiliation: *New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York, USA



  1. Riley  PY, Chomel  BB. Hedgehog zoonoses. Emerg Infect Dis. 2005;11:15. DOIPubMed
  2. Scott  DW, Miller  WH, Griffin  CE. Muller and Kirk's small animal dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company; 2000.


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DOI: 10.3201/eid1107.050045

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Table of Contents – Volume 11, Number 7—July 2005


Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

Melissa Behr, New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center, PO Box 22002, Albany, New York 12201-2002, USA; fax: 518-474-2155

Bruno B. Chomel, Department of Population Health and Reproduction–School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California–Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA; fax: 530-752-2377

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Page created: April 24, 2012
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