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May 26, 1945

Familial Susceptibility to Tuberculosis: Its Importance as a Public Health Problem

JAMA. 1945;128(4):317. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860210073030

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The author has made an earnest and honest attempt to determine why certain persons fall ill with clinical tuberculosis and others do not, with the idea of applying the information to modern tuberculosis control measures. In the introduction she states that the majority of the population in many sections of the country become infected with tubercle bacilli before reaching adult life. Therefore, on the assumption that all adults are infected with tubercle bacilli, the possibility, of familial susceptibility is discussed at some length. Chapters are devoted to such subjects as tuberculosis in siblings, in consorts, in parents and in children of the tuberculous, and the control of tuberculosis.

Valuable data from various studies are presented. Considerable emphasis is placed on the tubercle bacillus, but the question is frequently raised as to whether this alone is adequate to produce tuberculosis. That inherited susceptibility may be necessary to permit the development of

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