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July 21, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(3):169. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460290039017

The question as to the heredity of tuberculosis, in the strict sense of the term, may be considered as fairly settled; it is hereditary only in the very exceptional cases in which the direct transmission of the germ takes place in antenatal life. It is equally well established, however, that there is a tendency to weakness that makes its bearer especially susceptible to the infection of this disease, and that this heredity is often observed in those whose direct ancestors have been its victims. The popular notion, therefore, of the heredity of tuberculosis has a rational origin, and, using the term in a wider sense than is literally scientific, may be said to have its basis in fact. It is, however, not the descendants of the tuberculous only that possess this heredity; the degenerative tendency may start in other diseased conditions, just as tuberculosis itself may give rise to special