Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 51, Issue 7, pp 1969–1974 | Cite as

Development of Rose Bengal test against mallein test for rapid diagnosis of equine glanders

  • Amin Karimi
  • Nader MosavariEmail author
Regular Articles


Background and aim

Burkholderia mallei, the etiologic agent of the disease known as glanders. Clinical and bacteriological diagnosis of glanders is difficult in the early stages of the disease. Currently, mallein (allergic hypersensitivity test) is used for the diagnosis of glanders. The mallein test requires an experienced laboratory person and lasts 48 h. Therefore, in order to quickly diagnose the disease, especially in areas (such as the borders of the country) that cannot be kept animals, new methods should be used to identify the disease. The Rose Bengal is a serological diagnostic test and has been recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). In this study, the Rose Bengal test (RBT) was evaluated for the diagnosis of equine glanders, and its diagnostic was compared with mallein test.

Materials and methods

Sera from 70 naturally infected culture-positive horses, 3 equines that were sensitized by injecting antigen and 110 healthy equines were tested. Specificity and sensitivity of RBT and mallein test when testing culture-positive equines were calculated.


Diagnosis of glanders with both methods yield the same results, but Rose Bengal test is much faster than mallein test for diagnosis of equine glanders.


By comparative RBT with mallein test, it can be considered, RBT test has been used for rapid detection of glanders with features such as, ease of use and can be applicable without specialized equipment and trained personnel. Because the RBT is simpler and rapid to perform, the inclusion of the test as a supplementary test for the diagnosis of glanders in field conditions is recommended.


Glanders Burkholderia mallei Rose Bengal Mallein test 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Basic SciencesIslamic Azad UniversityKarajIran
  2. 2.Reference Laboratory of Bovine Tuberculosis, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research InstituteAgricultural Research Education and Extension Organization (AREEO)TehranIran

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