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Glanders - Burkholderia mallei, qPCR - Equigerminal

Glanders Burkholderia mallei qPCR

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Pathogen test 

  • The PCR test detects the genome (DNA) of Burkholderia mallei, the bacteria responsible for Glanders in equines.


    • 5 mL - blood - K3 EDTA tube

    Turnaround time

    • 2 to 5 working days


    What is Glanders?

    • Glanders is a contagious and fatal disease of horses, donkeys, and mules, caused by infection with the bacterium Burkholderia mallei.The pathogen causes nodules and ulcerations in the upper respiratory tract and lungs. A skin form also occurs, known as ‘farcy’.
    • Control of glanders requires testing of suspect clinical cases, screening of apparently normal equids, and elimination of positive reactors. As B. mallei can be transmitted to humans, all infected/contaminated or potentially infected/contaminated material must be handled in a laboratory with appropriate biosafety and biosecurity controls following a biorisk analysis.
    • Glanders is an OIE listed disease as described in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). As indicated in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code any occurrence of glanders must be notified to the OIE.

    Clinical signs

    • The disease causes nodules and ulcerations in the respiratory tract and lungs in animals.
    • A skin form, known as ‘farcy’, also occurs.
    • Both acute and chronic forms of the disease have been described.
    • Acute forms occur most frequently in donkeys and mules, with high fever and respiratory signs.
    • In horses, glanders generally takes a more chronic course and they may survive for several years.
    • There are four recognised clinical presentations of glanders: nasal, pulmonary, cutaneous and asymptomatic carrier. These different forms of glanders are usually referred to according to the location of the initial infection. The nasal and pulmonary forms tend to be more acute while the cutaneous form is a chronic process.
    • Inflammatory nodules and ulcers develop in the nasal passages and give rise to a sticky yellow discharge. Stellate scarring follows upon healing of the ulcers.
    • The formation of nodular abscesses in the lungs is accompanied by progressive debility, coughing and may also be accompanied by diarrhoea.
    • In the cutaneous form (“farcy’), the lymph vessels are enlarged; nodular abscesses form along their course, which then ulcerate and discharge yellow pus. Nodules are regularly found in the liver and spleen, leading to wasting and death.


    • The most common source of infection is ingestion of contaminated food or water.
    • Contaminated aerosols (produced by coughing and sneezing), and contaminated fomites brought to the animals via grooming equipment and tack may also be a source of infection.
    • The bacteria can also enter the body through contact with lesions or abrasions of the skin or through mucosa. In this case, a local infection with ulceration may develop spreading to other parts of the body in the course of the disease.
    • Poor husbandry and feeding conditions as well as animal transport can be predisposing factors. Unsanitary conditions and over-crowded stables are risk factors.


    • To date, no treatment with veterinary drugs is capable to cure the infection.
    • Control of glanders requires early detection and diagnostic testing of suspected clinical cases, screening of apparently normal equids, and elimination of positive cases.
    • For glanders-free countries, there are recommendations on importing equines. An international veterinary certificate is required attesting that the animals showed no clinical signs of glanders and were kept in an exporting country free of the disease for at least 6 months prior to shipment.

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