Glanders

Glanders, Malleus

Changed on: 17.05.2021
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Animal disease categories: A D E

Profile

Glanders is a disease that occurs primarily in solipeds. It is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei. Humans can become infected through direct contact with infected animals.

Occurrence

Asia, Africa, Middle East and South America

Host animals

equids (donkeys, horses, mules), camels

Route of infection

Directly from animal to animal (mucous membrane, skin lesions) and indirectly via contaminated feed, water, objects (grooming utensils and the like).

Incubation period

A few days up to several months

Symptoms

Nasal rash: high fever, loss of appetite, ulcerative changes in the nasal mucosa, yellow-greenish nasal discharge, cough, breathing difficulties, swelling of the lymph nodesLung rash: fever, cough, breathing difficulties, nodules and abscesses in the lungsSkin rash: fever, cough, breathing difficulties, nodules in the skin (often along the lymph vessels). The nodules often break open ulcerously (thick yellow exudate).

Therapy

Animals are not treated, in humans antibiotic therapy is long and difficult.

Prevention

There is no vaccination

Situation in Austria

Glanders is a notifiable animal disease. Austria has been free of glanders for many decades (1953).

Technical information

Glanders is a disease predominantly found in donkeys, mules and horses. It is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei, a gram-negative, nonmotile bacterium that does not form spores.

Glanders occurs mainly in parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. There has been no case of glanders in Austria for several decades.

Donkeys and mules usually contract an acute form. Horses are more likely to have a chronic or latent form, making these animals potentially unrecognised excretors of the pathogen. In addition to the aforementioned species, susceptible animals include camels, dogs, cats, and humans. Transmission occurs directly through contact with infected animals via the mucosa or skin lesions and indirectly through food, water, and objects (e.g., grooming utensils). Zoo animals can also become infected by feeding on infected meat. The incubation period varies from a few days to several months.

Symptomatology

Based on the localization of the primary lesions, three forms of glanders are distinguished (nasal glanders, pulmonary glanders, cutaneous glanders). Clinical cases are often a combination of these three forms. They may be acute (or subacute), chronic, or latent.

Nasal and pulmonary redness are most often acute, whereas cutaneous redness is more of a chronic process.

  • Nasal snot: high fever, loss of appetite, ulcerative changes in the nasal mucosa, yellow-greenish nasal discharge, cough, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lymph nodes.
  • Pulmonary redness: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, lumps and abscesses in the lungs.
  • Skin redness: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, nodules in the skin (often along lymphatic vessels). The nodules often break open ulcerously (thick yellow exudate).

Diagnostic

Detection methods:

  • Pathomorphological investigations
  • pathogen detection (isolation)
  • molecular biological methods (PCR)
  • detection of antibodies by ELISA
  • detection of antibodies by means of complement fixation reaction

Contact, Forms

Institute for Veterinary Investigations Mödling (National Reference Laboratory)Robert Koch-Gasse 172340 MödlingPhone: +43 50 555-38112Fax: +43 50555-38529vetmed.moedlingno@Spam@agesno.Spam.at

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