Singha, Harisankar National Research Center on Equines, Hisar, Haryana, India.
Malik, Praveen National Research Center on Equines, Hisar, Haryana, India.
Singh, Raj Kumar Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India.
- Causative agent
- Mode of transmission
- Diagnosis and control
- Prevalence of disease and eradication strategies
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Glanders is a highly contagious and fatal bacterial infection of equines that results in chronic suppurative (pus-producing) lesions of the skin and mucous membranes, pneumonia, and septicemia (a clinical syndrome in which infection is disseminated through the body in the bloodstream). The disease was first described in 330 BC by Aristotle, who named it “malleus.” In general, three clinical forms of glanders are observed: the nasal form (Fig. 1), characterized by a yellowish green mucopurulent nasal discharge commonly associated with the formation of nodules and ulcers in the nasal septum; the pulmonary form, associated with a persistent dry cough accompanied by labored breathing; and the cutaneous or skin form, also known as farcy (Fig. 2), which presents as ulcerative nodules, especially on the inner aspect of the hind limbs (Fig. 3). In the field, the three forms of the disease usually do not manifest distinctly and can occur together. Donkeys and mules are more susceptible to infection than horses and may succumb to the disease within a few days. In contrast, the disease generally takes a more chronic course in horses, which may survive for several years. Infection may also be transmitted to goats, camels, and carnivores. Cattle and pigs are resistant to glanders. The disease is of great zoonotic significance because humans may become infected through direct contact with the causative organism and prolonged contact with infected animals. Veterinarians, horse caretakers, abattoir workers, and researchers are the main risk groups. An extremely high rate of mortality can occur in untreated humans.
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