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January 20, 1940

EVOLUTION OF OUR KNOWLEDGE OF TUBERCULOSIS

JAMA. 1940;114(3):272. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810030072028

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  The names of Georges Küss, Elie Metchnikoff and Otto Naegeli should be included among those who have made fundamental contributions to our knowledge of the "bug full of tricks" (Evolution of Our Knowledge of Tuberculosis, The Journal, Nov. 18, 1939, p. 1882).It is significant that, although tuberculosis is as old as man, the mode of propagation of the disease and the universality of infection were not appreciated until the latter part of the nineteenth century. Tuberculosis was often confounded with other diseases not only in the clinic but also in the dissecting room; even under the microscope it was not understood until the eighties of the past century. Virchow, for example, taught that "nearly everything that occurs in tuberculosis which has not the form of a nodule is inflammatory in nature and is not related to the disease.... Caseation has nothing that is especially tuberculous; caseous

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