Glanders refer to a type of infection caused by the bacteria named Burkholderia mallei. Although it can harm humans, the sickness primarily affects horses, along with other animals like mules and donkeys, and other animals including dogs, cats, and goats can potentially acquire it. Hence, individuals who have a greater risk of contracting this illness are those with frequent interaction with animals that are infected with glanders.

A person can be glanders-infected when the bacteria enters any scraps or cuts in the skin, as well as through the mucosal surfaces of the nose and eyes. In extremely rare instances, the disease can also spread through the bodily fluids of an individual.


There are four common infections asociated with glanders:

  • Localized infection: This type of infection occurs when infection is acquired through cuts or tears in the body. Glanders may spread across the body within 1-4 weeks of this type of infection.
  • Pulmonary infection: This type of glanders mainly affect the pulmonary system. Concentrated infection in the lung lobes may be detected through chest x-rays.
  • Bloodstream infection: This is the most critical type of glanders disease. Bloodstream infections frequently result in death within 7-10 days without medication.
  • Chronic Infection: This type causes the formation of multiple abscesses within the body.


General symptoms for glanders include the following:

  • Chills and sweating while having fever
  • Muscle pain 
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle soreness 
  • Headache
  • Runny Nose 

However, other symptoms may arise, depending on the type of infection that a patient has:

Localized infection

  • Ulceration in the infected part which manifests between 1-5 days after contact
  • Visible enlarged lymph nodes
  • Secretion of mucus on infected parts

Pulmonary infection

Chronic infection

  • Multiple abscesses within the liver, skin of the arms and legs, spleen, muscles, or lungs


If any of these indications persist, contact your physician immediately.


Glanders can be diagnosed by doctors through running tests in the blood, urine, saliva, or wounds. If the Burkholderia mallei is present, then it is confirmed to be Glanders. 


Unfortunately, there are still a lack of studies regarding the antibiotic treatment of Glanders for humans. Nevertheles, sulfadizine has been discovered as an efficient treatment for both humans and experimental animals.

Moreover, Burkholderia mallei is vulnerable to the following medications:

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

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