The disease, also known as equine nasal phithisis, farcy or malleus, is highly infectious anthropozoonosis and is caused by Burkholderia (earlier Pseudomonas) mallei. The disease affects ass, horse, mule and man. It is widely distributed in Africa and Asia including India. Transmission may occur through direct contact, inhalation or occasionally by ingesting contaminated meat. Accidentally, laboratory workers and veterinarians can acquire the infection.
There is onset of high fever with chills, prostration, mucopurulent nasal discharge, cough, bronchopneumonia, pleural effusion and empyema. Ulcers in nostrils and pharynx along with lymphangitis and lymphadenitis are other important manifestation of the disease.Along with clinical signs and history of the disease, isolation of organisms is means of diagnosis. Indirect haemagglutination and complement fixation tests are useful for serodiagnosis. Mellein test is performed to assess the delayed type hypersensitivity.