The Diagnosis of Glanders by Hypodermic Injection of Mallein

The Diagnosis of Glanders by Hypodermic Injection of Mallein


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Tlte Dzagnosz"s 0/ Glanders. IT is known that Helman, of Dorpat, at first, then Kalming, of Ri ga (who died from contracting glanders accidentally), and Preusse, of Dantzi g, have don e for Glanders what Koch has accomplished for tuberculosis; they hav ing, by pure cultures of th e bacillus of that di sease, prepared a glycerine extract designated Giandcr-l)'lllp/t or ilfallez1l, which, when injected in small quantity beneath th e skin of a horse affected with that disease, causes a g reat elevatz"on 0/ temperature, accompanied by general prostra tion, acceleration of the pulse, inappetence, etc. This reac:tion does not become manifest if the animal is not glandered. Numerous exp eriments confirm the results reported by H elman and Preusse, so that we may now consider it as a scientific fact that Mallein is a mo st precise reagent in establishing the diag nosis of glanders in th e horse. The interesting observations recen tly communicated by Nocard to the Societe Centrale de l\1ed. V et erinaire of Paris, establish this most valuable fact, from a sanitary police point of view, that, thanks to malle in, the eXlstcnce oj Glanders may be revcaled z'tz anz17Zals 7.(JJtzdz do not offer the sltghtcst z1zdzcaizon 0/ tlte dzsease. Doctor Roux, of the Institut Pasteur, a few days ago told of an instance which was absolutely decisive in this respect. In an establishm ent in which Glanders had reeently mad e some victims, all th e other h orses, about 100, VOL.



The Vetcrina1" Journal. received a subcutaneous injection of mallein. Of these 100 horses, 28 exhibited the characteristic reaction and were slaughtered; in everyone of them were found internal (or occult) lesions of Glanders. Of the 28 only two had shown signs during life which might have rend ered them suspected; the other 26 did not offer the least indication of th e disease. Now that it is possible to determine the existence of the malady not only in the suspected, but also in those which are not suspected of contamination, it may be asserted that glanders is vanquished, and we may hope that it will not be long before it disappears from our necrological list. This hope is all the more well founded when it is known that our cOllfreres can have the mallein on the most advantageous conditions; for Dr. Roux has generously offered to send to th e Brussels Sch00l a quantity of the brut mallein sufficient for its requirements, or even for those of Belgium. So long as the consumption of the substance is not considerable, the Institut Pasteur might furni sh it gratuitously; but as this is a matter that is more especially related to sanitary police, it is to be hoped that the Government will defray the cost of providing the small quantity of material (box, tubes, labels, etc.), necessary for the requirements of the veterinary surgeons throughout the country. Weare in a position to supply those who are interested, in the meanwhile, with a certain number of doses of mallein which they may usefully employ. They will receive mallein diluted in five per cent. carbolised ,vater; this is ready for use. To obtain the dilute mallein, a cubit centimetre of concentrated brut mallein is mixed with nine cubic centimetres of carbolised water. In./ectt"o1Z of the M allezn. By means of a carefully stertlzsed s)'rz"nge, the mallein is withdrawn from the tubes in which it is forwarded and it is injected at once beneath the skin about the middle of the neck. The dose to inject is two cubi ccentimetres of the solution (t cubic centimetre of the brut mallein). Observz1zg the T emperature. The temperature is taken per rectum before the injection of the mallein, and every two hours after the sixth hour from that operation up to the twentieth hour. Strictly speaking, three observations should be sufficient- at the eighth, twelfth, and sixteenth hours. Every horse whose temperature rises more than two degrees should be considered glandered; an

The Diaguosis


Glanders by Mallein.

3 15

increase not exceeding one deg ree is of no significance, but if the temperature increases between one and two degrees the animal ought to be classed as suspected. It is well to take the temperature morning and evening for several days before injecting the mallein, in order to make certain that the horse does not present abnormal oscillations in the thermic scale; as if this be so it would be advisable to defer the injection. Such are the indications contained in the circular accompanying the supplies of mallein sent out from the Pasteur Institute. It may be added that the elevation of temperature is accompanied, in the g landered horse, by marked general derangement, and a transient
In/ectzOn 0/ Mallez1z Z1zto S zx Horses under Treatment or Observatzon zlz tlte Brussels Vetertnary School. Of these six h orses two were attacked with the glanderfarcy disease-one having the cutaneous or farcy form, the other the nasal or glander form. A diffused swelling of the left foreleg with corresponding lymphangitis; disseminated tumours or ulcers on the swelling and along the course of the lymphatic yessels; a small, indurated and indolent submaxillary gland on the left side; such were the principal manifestations observed on the first horse-a light-draught gelding seven years old. The second was a heavy-draught mare, seven years old, the condition of which was b etrayed by an obstinate nasal catarrh, greyish nodules and erosions on the nasal septum, a hard and indolent subglossal glandular enlargement, and a diffuse engorgement of the left hind leg. The catarrhal symptoms, and nodules and enlarged gland, after existing a certain time on the right side, had become transposed to the left side. The nasal discharge of this animal, as well as some matter derived from scraping the ulcers of the first one, was inoculated into several guinea-pigs, and on each occasion gave rise to the characteristic reaction of glanders-the production of an ulcer at the seat of incision. The Other Horses.-N o. I. A heavy-draught gelding, ten years old. At present there is an elongated tumefaction on the right side of the upper lip, and ·enlargement of the corresponding subglossal glands which has not quite disappeared.

Tht Vete1'inary Jou1'nal. NO.2. An aged draught mare. Has been affected with leftsided nasal catarrh, accompanied by slight subglossal ad enitis of the same side, which persists. NO.3. Light-draught mare, six years old. Unilateral nasal catarrh attributed to disease of the sinus, with slight glandular enlargement. NO.4. Irish gelding, seven years of age. Obstinate catarrh of the air passages, but no glandular tumefaction. Frequent spasmodic cou g h, and trachea and larynx very sensitive to pressure. For two days preceding the injection, th e recta l temperature of each horse was taken twice a day, mornin g and evening. On the day of inj ection (the 14th of last Jun e), and before the operation, whi ch took place at 9 a.m., th e rectal temperature was: in the h orse with farcy, 38' 2° Cent., in the glandered horse, 38(>, and in the others from 37"9 0 (Ko. 1),3 7' 8 0 (No.2 ), 39'2 0 (No.3 ), and 37"5 0 (No.4 ). After six hours the temperature was taken every two hours. At the twelfth hour, in the farcied horse, it was 41' I"; in the glandered horse, 41'3°; and in th e others 37'9° (No. 1),3 8'7° (No.2 ), 39'9° (No.3), and 38-60 (No.4). To sum up, the hyperth ermic action has been 2'9° and 3'3 0 in th e two diseased horses, and fe eble or null in the other four. A grave derangement, prostration, acceleration of the pulse, inappetence, and a pronounced lo cal cedema were produced in the t\\"o g landered ones, but th e other s r etain ed their appetite and u sual liveliness. These results agree in every point with those related by Helman, Preusse, and Nocard, while they confirm the fact noted by the latter, that the mallein prepared by Dr. Rou x at the Pasteur Institute possesses sufficient activity to determine the desired reaction in a dose of ± cubic centimetre (2t cubic centimetres of the solution). N ocard has observed that a much stronger dose of the mallein-treble or qu a druple-causes a sensible disturbance of the more important fun ctions in the healthy horse, and a th ermic elevation of ]1 ° to 2<>. In thirty-four animals into which he had inj ected the dilute mallein in a 2 ~ cubic centimetre dose, he always found an elevation of more than 2 0 ; it generally yaried b etween 2'5<> and 2° , in some even exceeding 3". On several occasions, by th e aid of mallein h e has obtain£d the characteristic hyperthermic reaction, when test inoculations on the guinea-pig and cultivation on potatoe of the suspected matter (mucus and pus) has not produced any re sult.

A New Method of Applying D n ss£ngs.

3I 7

"\Vhile fully recognizin g the g reat superiority of the malleinic inj ection over all the other diagnosti c means a t our disposal, m y opinion is that the latter are s till valuable, and that nothing should b e neglected to render thei r application and significati.on a s precise as possible. In doubtful cases in which the h y p erth ermic reaction rests b etween one and two degrees, it is necessary to submit the animal to a minute examination, to obtain all the informa tion possible with regard to the pathogenic conditions (contagion) of the disease, to resort to inocula tion of the dog and g uineapig, or cClltures on potato, with o ne or other of the suspected matte rs collec ted from th e patient. Such symptomatic manifestation, s uch informatio n as to the origin of the disease, such experimental result, when added to the insufficie nt reaction yielded by the mallein, may contribute to remove doubts, and give authority to affirm the existence of the malady.


I~ certa in cases in which it is n ecessary to apply dressings or poultices to horses' feet, the u se of the ordinary leather or canvas b oot is objectionable, and und er such circumstances a duster or piece of sackin g is commonly employed, when it is folded round the foot and fa stened around the pastern by a strong portion of tape or a strap. On any animal this is likely to be come loose, but particularly on a r estless one, and more especially if it b e on the hind foot of a kicking horse, when it is almos t impossible to keep it on. The following plan has proved to b e an improve ment on the ordinary m ethod of binding the top of the cloth round the pastern : A thin rope or stout piece of cord about fi ve feet long is doubled in two, and a knot tied at the d oubJe end so as to form a loop about fi ve or six inches long, this length dep ending on the size of the fo ot, as at A, fig ure I. The poultice or dressi ng is applied to th e foot and the cloth wrapped round in the ordinary way, the loop of the cord being placed at the back of the pastern, as in A, figure II.; the ends of the cord are passed round one on the inside, and the other on the outside towards the front, as in BB, fig ure II. These ends are then twined together do\vn a s far as the toe, see C in fig ure II. The foot is now lifted up and the ends of the cord, CC,