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November 27, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXIX(22):1119-1120. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440480035003

The question of the transmissibility of tuberculosis is one of great interest and importance. Before the discoveries of Villemin and Koch tuberculosis was regarded as a hereditary and constitutional disease due to a morbid condition of the tissues which was inherited from the parents. When it became established that tuberculosis is caused by a bacillus, the common occurrence of the disease in the members of the same family was generally explained on the score of the exposure to the inhalation of dried and pulverized tuberculous sputum. Others, however, would explain the many instances of tuberculosis among the children of tuberculous parents as due, in part at any rate, to a certain predisposition to the disease, the bacilli finding a favorable soil for their growth; these children are born, as Peter says, "tuberculisables, mais non tuberculeux." What this disposition really depends on is not known, but it has been thought to

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