Rat-bite dermatitis is one of the new diseases—not new to the world, for doubtless rats have been biting mankind for milleniums and communicating this disease to human beings, but it is new to medical science. Only within a comparatively few years has it been isolated as a definite syndrome and its etiology determined. And still more recently has it attracted attention in America,1 and within the past year the first case has come under my observation in Syria. It seems, therefore, of sufficient interest, not to say importance, to put on record.
The etiology of the disease long escaped recognition, for much the same reason that our honored predecessors over four centuries ago for a long time did not connect the eruption, the fever and other manifestations of syphilis with the primary lesion, and were slow to recognize syphilis as a venereal disease. We must be more patient