Glanders (Malleus), caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei, is an acute, chronic or latent notifiable infectious disease of solipeds which has zoonotic potential. The disease is endemic in parts of Asia and South America. In Western Europe it is considered eradicated. Germany has been free from the disease since 1956. Especially donkeys and mules are susceptible. B. mallei is excreted by infected animals with all body secretions. Transmission occurs exclusively horizontally by direct or indirect contact with infected animals or contaminated objects. Glanders occurs in a cutaneous, nasal or pulmonary form. Based on Commission Decision 93/197/EEC on animal health conditions and veterinary certification for imports of registered equidae and equidae for breeding and production serological investigations by CFT are required for equids from certain third countries. Main tasks of the Reference Laboratory are the support of the veterinary laboratories of the federal states by confirmation tests in case of positive CFT results and the licensing and batch testing of diagnostics.
In the frame of the OIE reference laboratory we support of the international laboratories by confirmation tests and we organise laboratory training courses in diagnosis of glanders.