Glanders

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Glanders

Farcy

Glanders is a contagious zoonotic disease caused by infection with the bacterium Pseudomonas mallei (formally classified as Burkholderia mallei). Glanders can occur as either acute or chronic, but clinically it is difficult to distinguish between the two forms. Donkeys and mules are more prone to developing the acute form of glanders, while horses often develop the chronic form. Chronic glanders is usually fatal albeit a few cases may recover clinically and remain carriers for life. Chronic glanders occurs as one of three forms: cutaneous (farcy), nasal, or pulmonary. The cutaneous form is characterized by development of nodules which progress to ulcers discharging a thick yellow exudate and generally track the lymphatic vessels to regional lymph nodes. The lymph vessels are usually swollen and corded with nodules. The cutaneous lesions can appear anywhere on the body, but typically affect the limbs, especially the hindlimbs.

Glanders has been eradicated from many countries by statutory testing, elimination of infected animals and import restrictions. However, it is still endemic in parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central and South America.

Transmission
Glanders is transmitted primarily through ingestion of feed or water contaminated by the nasal secretions of infected horses.

Symptoms

Loss of appetite
Weakness
Poor performance
Enlarged lymph nodes
Fever
96%
Nodules and crater-like ulcers
87%
Nasal discharge
78%
Nose bleeds
61%
Cough
61%
Shortness of breath
61%
Cording of lymphatics
44%
Hind leg swelling
35%

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Complement fixation test (CFT)
  • Isolation and culture of the bacteria from lesions

Treatment

TherapiesDetails
Report diseaseGlanders is a reportable disease, meaning that if you suspect that your horse has this disease, by law you need to report it to your veterinarian, or a state or federal veterinarian.
Supportive care
Parenteral administration of enrofloxacin and trimethoprim plus sulfadiazine, followed by the oral administration of doxycycline

Prevention

Scientific Research

General Overviews

Risk Factors

  • International travel

Causative agent