Tuberculosis pp 239-262 | Cite as

The Koch Phenomenon and the Immunopathology of Tuberculosis

  • G. A. W. Rook
  • J. L. Stanford
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 215)

Abstract

Tuberculosis kills more than three million people every year, and the problem is rapidly increasing. This is paradoxical when we know that the immune response is perfectly capable of coping with this infection. Before the advent of HIV, only 5% of infected individuals developed disease, and perhaps another 5% did so when T cell function was compromised by old age, stress or protein malnutrition. Therefore 90% of the population was resistant under normal circumstances. Moreover the incidence in the suceptible 10% could be reduced by up to 80% by BCG vaccination in those countries in which the vaccine worked. Why then are we failing to control the rapid increase in tuberculosis?

Keywords

Cortisol Testosterone Bacillus Dexamethasone Glucocorticoid 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. A. W. Rook
    • 1
  • J. L. Stanford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BacteriologyUniversity College London Medical SchoolLondonUK

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