Some unseen viruses as well as bacteria capable of causing life-threatening human illness were found in New York City's house mice, according to a new study published Tuesday.
The findings are part of the results from a research by the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
The researchers gathered 416 mice from predominantly residential buildings in seven sites across New York City over a period of 13 months to see whether they carry any dangerous germs.
Mice across the city carry numerous dangerous diseases including shigella, salmonella, clostridium difficile and leptospira, which cause fever and gastrointestinal distress in humans, according to the study published by mBio, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
Some of the bacteria were resistant to three common antibiotics, it showed.
In addition, the mice carried 36 types of viruses, most of which had never before been seen in mice.
Estimates of New York City's rat population range from 250,000 to millions.