Burkholderia mallei (glanders)

General information

Glanders is a disease of Equidae caused by Burkholderia mallei, which also has zoonotic potential: Apart from humans, wildcats (zoos!), camels, bears, wolves and dogs are susceptible as well. Cattle, sheep and swine are resistant. The course of the disease is either acute (especially in donkeys and mules) with high fever and respiratory symptoms and death after a few days. Or it is rather chronic, particularly in horses, with nodules and ulcerations on the skin, the mucous membrane and the inner organs. Chronically and subclinically infected animals represent a dangerous source of infection. All secretions of the respiratory tract and the skin are infectious; the incubation period ranges from a few days to many months.

In Germany, glanders is considered eradicated, but it does occur in different Asian, African and South American countries (export-relevant test).

In Germany, there is an obligation to inform the authorities!