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August 1, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(5):410-411. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02540050050006

The present status of the question of the interrelations between bovine and human tuberculosis isably summarized by Sir William Whitla, in the recent Cavendish lecture.4 He details the salient points of the question from the discovery by Koch, in 1882, of the tubercle bacillus, and the subsequent startling announcement by the latter in 1901, of a specific difference between the bovine and the human types of tubercle bacilli. This announcement carried with it the revolutionary corollaries, first, that the human variety of microorganism can not produce tuberculosis in bovines; and second, the far more pregnant one, if true, that the bovine variety can not produce tuberculosis in humans. These conclusions were so at variance with the accumulated experience of clinical observers that they raised a storm of protest, which naturally stimulated reinvestigation by a host of workers, with a view to proving or disproving Koch's pronouncements. "To any one,"

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