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The History of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis
*Homo sapiens relationship

For TB to become endemic, there must be a stable population of 180 - 440 people.


Skeletal deformities from as far back as 8000 BCE.
Acid-fast Bacilli found in Peruvian mummy from 700 AD in Peru.
Introduction of the bacterium? From cattle (M. bovis), or perhaps, primates (Mtb)?

Pre-Antibiotic Era, The White Plague

As cities grew and populations grew denser in Europe, TB flourished, and Europeans were selected
for resistance.

In the 17th century, almost everyone in was infected and one in four deaths was due to TB.
Colonial expansion spread TB to lands where it had not been found in many millenia, ravaging
local populations.
By the 19th century, TB was on the decline in the US.

Antibiotic Era

1944 Streptomycin isolated and used to treat a woman with advanced disease.
1952 Isoniazid first used to treat TB patients
In the US the TB death rate fell to 4/100,000 by 1969. (From 188/100,000 in 1904).

:::We would like to thank www.lupingroup.com and the National TB/HIV Research Group for the online TB info. :