Glanders is a highly infectious and frequently deadly zoonotic illness caused by the bacteria Burkholderia mallei that mostly affects mules, donkeys, and horses. Glanders is mainly transmitted by coming into contact with infected animals or contaminated objects like feed or water troughs, although it can also be transmitted by aerosols. Although it has been documented in other areas, the disease is most frequently found in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has designated glanders as a Tier 1 Select Agent due to the possibility of utilizing B. mallei in bioterrorism. The World Health Organization has listed it as a potential biological weapon. Hence, a key element of global biosecurity efforts is the control of glanders.