Tuberculosis - INTRODUCTION

TRANSMISSION AND INFECTION

Primary and Secondary TB

DIAGNOSIS OF INFECTION AND DISEASE

TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

HISTORY

CURRENT PREVALENCE OF TB



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HISTORY TB | History Tuberculosis




History Tuberculosis | Causes Tuberculosis | Robert Koch | History Tuberculosis Therapy

TB has existed since at least 2000 bc, as shown by tubercles found in mummified bodies. References to TB can be found in the writings of ancient Babylonia, Egypt, and China. The term tuberculosis was first used in 1839, and it is derived from the Latin word tubercula, meaning small lump, referring to the small scars seen in tissues of infected individuals. TB reappeared in Europe and the United States in epidemic form in the 19th century. (History TB, Causes Tuberculosis, History Tuberculosis, Robert Koch, History Tuberculosis Therapy)

Causes Tuberculosis (TB) - Robert Koch

A color illustration depicts German scientist Robert Koch at work in his laboratory. Considered the founder of modern medical bacteriology, Koch isolated the bacillus that causes tuberculosis in 1882. He won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine in 1905. (History TB, Causes Tuberculosis, History Tuberculosis, Robert Koch, History Tuberculosis Therapy)

Significant research into the causes and cure of TB began in earnest in the early 19th century. French physician Gaspard Bayle described the damage caused by TB in 900 autopsies. René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec, also a French physician, described the evolution of the disease from the initial tubercle through its final stages. J. A. Villemin, a French army doctor, showed that TB could be transmitted from humans to animals. (History TB, Causes Tuberculosis, History Tuberculosis, Robert Koch, History Tuberculosis Therapy)

The American physician Edward Trudeau was affected by the disease twice, in 1873 and 1876. When he thought he was dying, he traveled to Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York to spend his final days. When he found his symptoms eventually cured, he attributed his healing to the fresh air of the mountains. In 1885 Trudeau built the first American sanatorium. It later became a model for the many sanatoriums that became the mainstay of TB treatment in the late 19th century and early 20th century. By 1930 the United States had 600 sanatoriums with a total of 84,000 beds. Trudeau also established the Trudeau Laboratory, which during the following 50 years, was responsible for training most physicians versed in the treatment of TB. (History TB, Causes Tuberculosis, History Tuberculosis, Robert Koch, History Tuberculosis Therapy)

Early in the 19th century TB was considered a refined disease, one that affected artistic, morally superior individuals. But as the epidemic continued and claimed a larger circle of people, often the poor and disadvantaged, the victims themselves were blamed, and in the absence of scientific knowledge, TB was attributed to a person's lifestyle. (History TB, Causes Tuberculosis, History Tuberculosis, Robert Koch, History Tuberculosis Therapy)

Scientific pursuit of the true nature of TB continued. In 1882 German physician Robert Koch discovered the bacteria that caused TB. Using simple but precise observations and experiments, Koch demonstrated the presence of the bacteria and how it was transmitted. (History TB, Causes Tuberculosis, History Tuberculosis, Robert Koch, History Tuberculosis Therapy)

In Paris, French bacteriologists Albert Calmette and Camille Guerin worked with a virulent strain of bovine (cow) tubercle bacillus at the Pasteur Institute. In 1924 they prepared the BCG vaccine in hopes of protecting the world against tuberculosis. It was administered to a newborn child who was at high risk of developing TB. The vaccine was successful, and the child never contracted the disease. In 1944 American microbiologist Selman Waksman isolated streptomycin from a fungus, Streptomyces lavendula, heralding the beginning of modern antibiotic therapy for TB. (History TB, Causes Tuberculosis, History Tuberculosis, Robert Koch, History Tuberculosis Therapy)

The success of drug therapy and the declining rates of disease incidence and mortality over the next 30 years instilled a sense of confidence in public health officials that TB could be conquered. As antibiotic therapy became the primary treatment, mortality rates from TB decreased significantly. Deaths from TB in the United States dropped from 188 per 100,000 in 1904 to about 1 per 100,000 in 1980. From 1953 to 1984, the average annual decline in cases was about 5 percent per year. As a result, funding for public health programs in the United States, including those for the prevention and treatment of TB, was drastically curtailed in the 1980s. (History TB, Causes Tuberculosis, History Tuberculosis, Robert Koch, History Tuberculosis Therapy)

HISTORY TB | Causes Tuberculosis | History Tuberculosis | Robert Koch | History Tuberculosis Therapy