It is now generally conceded that the tubercle bacillus of cattle at times incites tuberculosis in man. This conclusion has been definitely established only through the possibility of distinguishing between a bovine and a human type of bacillus, and through employing this method and isolating the bovine type of organism from human tuberculous infections. The studies thus far carried out in different countries, using the same methods of differentiation, agree in charging the human bacillus with a marked preponderance of infections. In this connection, however, there is one disturbing criticism that is now and again brought forth to shake the confidence reposed in these conclusions, based, as they are, on the differentiation of the types of bacilli. It is asserted by some capable workers that it is possible for the bovine bacillus to be so altered by years of sojourn in the human tissues that its essential characteristics become
HESS AF. THE STABILITY OF TYPE OF THE TUBERCLE BACILLUS: A STUDY OF THE TYPE OF CULTURES FROM OLD CUTANEOUS TUBERCLES OF BUTCHERS. JAMA. 1909;LIII(12):916–918. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.92550120001001c
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