Glanders [Burkholderia Mallei] is a bacterial infection triggered by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei. While humans can contract glanders, it is mainly a horse disease. It also directly impacts mules and donkeys and can be contracted normally by dogs, goats, and cats.

The bacteria that generate glanders are spread to humans via contact with contaminated animals’ tissues or bodily fluids. The bacteria penetrate the body through abrasions, skin cuts, and mucosal surfaces. It can also be inhaled through infected aerosols or dust infected by contaminated animals.


The following are common glanders symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Nasal discharge
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Light sensitivity
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle pain

However, the specific signs individuals experience will differ based on the kind of infection. The four kinds of infections are listed below:

  • Pulmonary Infection. Glanders is frequently manifested as a pulmonary infection. Pulmonary abscesses, pneumonia, and pleural effusion can happen in pulmonary infections. Chest X-rays will reveal a localized infection in the respiratory lobes.
  • Localized Infection. A localized infection with ulceration may generate one to five days after bacteria enter the body via a cut or scratch in the skin. Lymph nodes that are swollen may also be visible.
  • Chronic Infection. Multiple abscesses within the skin and muscles of the legs and arms, as well as the spleen, lungs, and liver, characterize the chronic form of glanders.
  • Bloodstream Infection. Glanders bloodstream infections are typically fatal within 7 to 10 days if not treated.


Doctors can diagnose glanders by examining the patient’s symptoms and health history. B. mallei can also be cultured from lymph nodes, lesions, and nasal or other respiratory secretions to diagnose glanders. This organism is rarely found in the blood.


Because human instances of Glanders Burkholderia Mallei are uncommon, there is little information on the treatment. Sulfadiazine has been seen to be effective in both humans and animals.

Furthermore, the bacterium that causes glanders is commonly susceptible to:

  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Tetracyclines
  • Imipenem
  • Streptomycin
  • Gentamicin
  • Novobiocin
  • Sulfonamides
  • Ceftazidime

There is no Glanders [Burkholderia Mallei] vaccine available. In regions where glanders [Burkholderia Mallei] is discovered, human prevention entails identifying and extracting the infection in the animal. Transmission can be avoided in the health care setting by using prevalent blood and body fluid preventive measures such as protective eyewear, gloves, and gowns.

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