Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Glanders

Synonym(s): 'Farcy' Enzootic lymphangitis

Contributor(s): Melissa Kennedy, Graham Munroe

Introduction

  • Cause: a highly contagious zoonotic disease caused by gram-negative bacillus Burkholderia mallei (formerly named Pseudomonas mallei).
  • Route: ingestion or inhalation of organism or contamination of skin abrasions → localization in skin, lung, nasal mucosa or other organs.
  • Signs: acute respiratory disease especially in donkeys and mules, or chronic skin ulcerations/nodules particularly in horses; some animals may be asymptomatic carriers. 
  • Diagnosis: Mallein test and bacterial culture of pus from nodules.
  • Treatment: contraindicated.
  • Control: involves identification of clinical cases/carriers and their elimination; disinfection of in-contact surfaces, materials, etc.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Must be differentiated from Burkholderia pseudomallei infection (melioidosis) on culture as clinical signs are similar.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Donkeys/mules - acute systemic infection.
  • Horses - chronic cutaneous form.

Specific

  • Malnourished animals or those kept in filthy conditions.
  • Stress, eg extreme weather, hard work.

Pathophysiology

  • Contagious disease caused by gram-negative bacillus Burkholderia mallei Pseudomonas spp.
  • Transmitted on fomites or by direct contact with infected animals → ingested or inhaled organisms or contamination of skin abrasions → localizes in skin, lung, nasal mucosa, other organs → acute, usually fatal, bronchopneumonia or chronic cutaneous ulcerations and lymphatic reaction.
  • Transmitted by contact with nasal secretions or sputum from infected or carrier horses on fomites, eg grooming equipment, feed utensils, feedstuffs, hands, stables or by direct contact.
  • Ingestion is the primary route of infection, but contamination of skin abrasions can occur.
  • The organism invades the intestinal wall and localizes in the lungs, skin, nasal mucosa and other organs.

Timecourse

  • Incubation period: from 2 weeks to several months.

Epidemiology

  • The horse is the most commonly affected animal.
  • Carnivores fed infected meat can acquire the disease.
  • Cattle and pigs are not susceptible.
  • People can become infected when contacting the organism in laboratories or from the affected animal.
  • Many animals can become carriers, particularly if treated.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Treatment

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Prevention

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Outcomes

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Khan I et al (2011) Comparative evaluation of three commercially available complement fixation test antigens for the diagnosis of glanders. Vet Rec 169 (19), 495 PubMed.
  • Paar M (2009) Glanders and farcy: A re-emerging disease. Equine Vet Educ 21 (3), 151-152 VetMedResource.
  • Arun S et al (1999) Equine glanders in Turkey. Vet Rec 144 (10), 255-258 PubMed.
  • Balncou J (1994) Early methods for the surveillance and control of glanders in Europe. Rev Sci Tech 13 (2), 545-557 PubMed.
  • Al-Izzi S A et al (1989) In vitro susceptibility of Pseudomonas mallei to antimicrobial agents. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 12 (1-2), 5-8 PubMed.
  • Zubaidy A J et al (1978) Pathology of glanders in horses in Iraq. Vet Pathol 15 (4), 566-568 PubMed.
  • Ai-Kafawi A A et al (1977) Haematologic changes in Arabian horses infected with glanders. Vet Rec 101 (21), 427 PubMed.


ADDED