New Insights Into an Old Disease
  • David M. Waag
  • David DeShazer
Part of the Infectious Disease book series (ID)


Glanders is a disease of antiquity, although occasional cases can still be found. This disease is naturally found in equines, who occasionally transmit the infection to humans (1). Glanders is one of the oldest diseases ever described. Disease symptoms were recorded by Hippocrates around the year 425 BC, and the disease was given the name “melis” by Aristotle in approx 350 BC. Glanders is suggested as the cause of the sixth plague of Egypt, as described in the Bible (2). However, this disease was not studied in a systematic matter until the early part of the 19th century. Through much of recorded history, glanders has been a world problem. Because of the serious problem posed by glanders in the French cavalry horses, the first veterinary school was established by King Louis XV at Lyons, France, in the mid-1800s. Unfortunately, many early investigators became infected during the course of their studies and died of glanders (3).


Capsular Polysaccharide Complement Fixation Test Auxotrophic Mutant Biological Weapon Burkholderia Pseudomallei 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Waag
    • 1
  • David DeShazer
    • 1
  1. 1.Bacteriology DivisionUS Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious DiseasesFort Detrick

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