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January 23, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(4):248-249. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490490038006

The old notion of the direct heredity of consumption has been very generally treated as exploded since the discovery of the bacillus by Koch, and it is almost a point of faith at the present time to deny anything more than the remotest possibility of such heredity. The most that is usually admitted is that predisposition may exist, but that this may be counteracted by environment and proper treatment. Certain clinical facts, however, have still led some persons to maintain that the danger from communicable disease is on the whole less serious than from consumptive ancestors, whether the germs were transmitted directly or not. Thus, in an article published in The Journal1 on conjugal tuberculosis, Bannister came to the conclusion that it was far more dangerous to have a consumptive parent than a consumptive wife or husband. Constitutional predisposition was credited in these cases, not the transmission of the

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