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specific infectious and contagious disease of solipeds (the horse, ass, and mule); secondarily, humans may become infected through contact with diseased animals or by inoculation while handling diseased tissues and making laboratory cultures of the causal bacillus. In 1882 the bacteriologists Friedrich Loffler and Wilhelm Schutz in Germany isolated and identified the causal agent, which they named the Bacillus mallei, now designated technically as the Pfeifferella mallei or Malleomyces mallei. After infection, the disease usually follows a chronic course with a variable period of incubation extending from several weeks to several months.