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Whitmore’s Disease, Human Glanders


  • Caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas pseudomallei, meliodosis is most commonly seen in South-east Asia, but also occurs in most other areas of the world.


  • Symptoms of meliodosis are slight fever, loss of appetite, depression, labored breathing, coughing, and runny nose.
  • Joints, lymph nodes, and testicles are sometimes swollen.
  • Occasionally abscesses occur, including staggering, jerky movements, or paralysis.
  • Young animals are more commonly infected, but older animals also develop the disease.
  • Diagnosis is made by observing symptoms and growing the bacteria in the laboratory. Some blood and skin tests have proven useful in diagnosing this disease.


  • Infection is due ti the contamination of wounds with soil containing the organism. Spread from animal to animal or animal to man is unlikely.


  • Treatment is usually unsuccessful.
  • Older animals sometimes recover but may get sick again when under stress.
  • If you do decide to treat, use tetracycline, chloramphenicol, or sulfa drugs.
  • No vaccine is available.


  • As precaution, healthy animals should be kept away from areas where the disease has occurred.


  • Thedford, Thomas R. Goat Health Handbook: A Field Guide for Producers with Limited Veterinary Services. Morrilton, AR: Winrock International, 1983. Print.

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