Since the beginning of the bacteriologic era our views as to the inheritance of tuberculosis have undergone several changes. When the tubercle bacillus was first discovered it looked as though the matter was greatly simplified and would soon be cleared up. At first it was thought that the tubercle bacillus itself was handed down from generation to generation, but pathologic experience soon disproved this, and even at the present day the reported cases of true inheritance of the germ can almost be counted on the fingers. The appreciation that the bacilli themselves were but rarely transmitted led to the formulation of the theory of the transmission of the soil, as the French have called it. It was taken for granted that some structural peculiarity was transmitted which favored the multiplication of the tubercle bacillus in the tissues of the unfortunate individuals who possessed it. This view is, in fact, the
THE INHERITANCE OF THE DISPOSITION TO TUBERCULOSIS. JAMA. 1904;XLII(15):959–960. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490600025006
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