• George W. Comstock
  • Richard J. O’Brien


The term “tuberculosis” is used primarily to signify an infectious disease of the lungs caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Many other organs may be involved, however, and similar illnesses caused by M. bovis are also called tuberculosis. The disease has long been a major killer of mankind. In 17th century England, John Bunyan referred to consumption, now recognized as one of the forms of pulmonary tuberculosis, as “the captain of all of these men of death.” Tuberculosis is still a major cause of disability and premature death throughout most of the world today. Only among the economically favored nations has it become a relatively minor problem, concentrated among disadvantaged segments of the population.


Tuberculin Skin Test Pulmonary Tuberculosis Tuberculosis Case Tuberculosis Control Nontuberculous Mycobacterium 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • George W. Comstock
    • 1
  • Richard J. O’Brien
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Hygiene and Public HealthThe Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Clinical Research Branch, Division of Tuberculosis Control, Center for Prevention Services, Centers for Disease ControlAtlantaUSA

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