chapter
17 Pages

Glanders and Melioidosis

WithMichael G. Groves, Kathleen S. Harrington

Glanders and melioidosis are two of the most severe bacterial diseases that can affect people. Both are caused by members of the genus Pseudomonas, a group generally not highly pathogenic for people. Glanders is a highly infectious condition mainly affecting the Equidae. Melioidosis in its septicemic form is clinically similar to glanders and, like glanders, is a severe disease with high mortality. The causative organisms of glanders and melioidosis are closely related metabolically, phenotypically, and genotypically, and although the two produce similar clinical signs they differ widely in epidemiology. Glanders is spread by aerosol and direct contact with infective material. Glanders may have an acute or chronic course, and in both the lesions may be pulmonary, upper respiratory, or cutaneous. When glanders is suspected in a human patient, a thorough history should be taken to establish any contact with a glanderous animal, with a human glanders patient, or with the causative organism in a laboratory setting.