Burkholderia mallei, a gram-negative bacillus.
Systemic invasion can occur with resulting chronic abscessation.
The disease is diagnosed in the laboratory by isolating Burkholderia mallei from blood, sputum, urine, or skin lesions. Serologic assays are not available.
Glanders continues to be extremely rare in humans. In 2000, one case occurred in a research laboratory worker in the U.S. after accidental exposure.
While no national or state surveillance exists, the case-fatality rate can be up to 50% with traditional antibiotic treatment. However, susceptibility data suggest newer antibiotics should be more efficacious. The latest estimates show the mortality rate for localized disease can be as low as 20% with appropriate treatment, and the overall mortality rate is 40%.