Glanders Reported in Brazil

A horse in the southeastern portion of Brazil has tested positive for glanders. This disease has not occurred in this area of the country since 1968. A report on the case was released by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), also known as the World Organization for Animal Health.

Glanders is caused by the bacteria Burkholderia (Pseudomonas) mallei. The contagious disease is characterized by nodules, abscesses, and ulcers in the respiratory tract and skin. Affected horses can die within a few days.

According to a Sept. 5 OIE report by Dr. Jamil Gomes de Souza, director of the Departamento de Salud Animal, Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuaria e Abastecimento, glanders is considered endemic in some northern and north-eastern areas of the country. However, this case occurred in Sao Paulo, in the southeast.

According to Souza's report, the diagnosis of glanders was confirmed Sept. 3.

"The animal showed clinical signs compatible with the disease and was in a university veterinary hospital," Souza reported. "On (Sept. 5), after clinical evaluation by a specialist on the disease, the animal was slaughtered and buried in an adequate facility. The facilities were cleaned and disinfected and the hospital is quarantined due to the presence of a mare without clinical signs that is isolated and put under observation. This animal is used for practical lessons on veterinary medicine. "

The official veterinary service of the state of Sao Paulo has been conducting surveillance of the outbreak. According to a Sept. 17 OIE report, 33 animals have been isolated and placed under observation. Officials are interviewing local people in order to obtain information on animal movement and contacts to identify the origin of the disease

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, Glanders is one of the oldest diseases known, and used to be prevalent worldwide. Glanders is considered a foreign animal disease in the United States. It has been eradicated from many countries, including the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.

It is transmissible to people and is often fatal.

Read more about glanders.  

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care.

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