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October 14, 1944


JAMA. 1944;126(7):435-436. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850420033012

At the London Congress on Tuberculosis in 1901 Koch asserted that bovine tubercle bacilli are virtually nonpathogenic for man and that measures to protect human populations against tuberculosis of bovine origin are unnecessary. Following repeated demonstrations by other investigators of bovine tubercle bacilli in glandular tuberculosis in children, Koch modified this view. At the Washington congress in 1908 he admitted that bovine tubercle bacilli might have sufficient virulence to cause local glandular lesions in man but still asserted that they are never sufficiently virulent to cause human pulmonary tuberculosis. By that time only 2 possible cases of human pulmonary tuberculosis of bovine origin had been reported in the literature, 1 of which was doubtful.

During the next fifteen years work by the scientific staff of the Royal Commission on Tuberculosis of Great Britain under the leadership of the late A. Stanley Griffith seemed to confirm Koch's view. Bovine tubercle bacilli

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