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Published Date: 2018-05-22 15:03:29
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Glanders, equine - India (04): (UP) control
Archive Number: 20180522.5811652
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 21 May 2018
Source: Nyoooz, The Times of India (TOI) report [edited]

Work has almost come to a standstill at 800 brick kilns in Baghpat region as the dreaded glander Persian [glanders] disease, that affects mostly equines, has struck the district so much so that government has directed the local authorities to put the infected mules and horses to sleep. In a recent survey of 117 equines by the animal husbandry department, 8 tested positive.

There are around 3000 horses, mules, and donkeys in Baghpat district and some 2000 are primarily engaged in brick kilns to ferry bricks.

The remaining 1000 are used for transportation. District administration has declared the entire district, "control area", denying exit and entry of the animals from and into the district to prevent this highly contagious bacterial disease from spreading.

"During checking, we had sent 117 blood samples to Hisar-based laboratory, National Equine Research Institute (NERI).

After 8 samples tested positive, NERI lab technicians had come to Baghpat to take samples from horses and mules diagnosed as suffering from glanders.

They were again found to be positive after which orders were passed to cull these eight animals," said Dr Rajpal Singh, district veterinary officer. Baghpat is close to Meerut cantonment which houses Remount Veterinary Core (RVC) comprising close to 5000 Army horses in its Meerut, Babugarh, and Saharanpur facilities. Meerut also has Central Military Veterinary Laboratory (CMVL) where animals are treated for various diseases.

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ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[India and Brazil are known to lead the list of countries where glanders, a zoonotic, OIE-listed equid disease, is endemic. According to the OIE records, the annual, countrywide numbers of reported glanders outbreaks (in equidae) countrywide in India were as follows: 2010 - 1; 2011 - 3; 2012 - 1; 2013 - 1; 2014 - 0; 2015 - 5; 2016 - 22. No annual reports from India for the years 2016 and 2017 are available yet on OIE's website. During the 1st semester (January-June) of 2017, a total of 2 outbreaks of glanders were reported, one each in Jammu & Kashmir and in Uttar Pradesh.

No statistics on the incidence of glanders in humans in India could be obtained.

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 reactors. _B. mallei_ can be transmitted to humans, but such cases, which were known to be often fatal, have become rather uncommon (see ref 1). In view of its zoonotic potential, all infected or contaminated (or potentially infected or contaminated) material must be handled in a laboratory with appropriate biosafety and biosecurity controls following a bio-risk analysis.

The above and additional information on glanders, its causative agent, and its diagnosis is available at A useful updated review on the disease, including its recent global distribution, is available in ref 1.

No vaccine against this disease is available; however, prior use of _B. mallei_ as a biological weapon and its high mortality in inhalation animal studies has affirmed _B. mallei_ as a biodefense concern. This encouraged, in the past, studies addressing the development of a human vaccine (ref 2).

1. Elschner MC, Neubauer H, and Sprague LD. The resurrection of glanders in a new epidemiological scenario: a beneficiary of "global change". Curr Clin Microbiol Rep. 2017; 4(1): 54-60; abstract available at
2. Van Zandt KE, Greer MT, and Gelhaus HC. Glanders: an overview of infection in humans. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2013; 8: 131; available at
- Mod.AS

Maps of India: and
Baghpat district is located in western Uttar Pradesh (]

See Also

Glanders, equine - India (03): (MP), control 20180513.5795665
Glanders, equine - India (02): (GJ) 20180208.5615642
Glanders, equine - India: (UP), spread 20180118.5568659
Glanders, equine - India (03): (MH) 20170716.5177536 
Glanders, equine - India (02): (RJ) 20170329.4934138
Glanders, equine - India: (MP) 20170312.4894996 
Glanders, equine - India (03): (HR) RFI 20160812.4412512
Glanders, equine - India (02): (HR) 20160810.4405589
Glanders, equine - India: (GJ) RFI 20160708.4333940
Glanders, equine - India: (JK) equidae, RFI 20151215.3865159
Glanders - worldwide: re-emergence 20141006.2836047

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