Mycobacterial Infections

  • Oscar Auerbach
  • David H. Dail


Pulmonary tuberculosis, typically caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has been one of the most dreaded diseases in the world. Streptomycin, introduced in 1944, and Isoniazid, in 1952, had great effects on the course of tuberculosis, but it is interesting that the disease was already on the decline by the time these antibiotics were discovered, presumably as the result of better living conditions, less crowding, and better general health and nutrition. Effective chemotherapy has offered hope for the future eradication of the disease, but the natural history of tuberculosis may postpone this. Many persons living today remember “TB” sanitariums and such terribly descriptive words as “galloping consumption” or its Greek equivalent, “phthisis,” based on the verb “to decay”; this was called the “white plague” in the late 1700s. Early death was accepted as a common result of this disease. We must understand classical tuberculosis before we can fully understand the greatly altered disease as seen today in the post chemotherapy period. Several good reviews are available that can be used as general sources for this introduction. 1–9


Pulmonary Tuberculosis Mycobacterial Infection Mycobacterium Avium Intracellulare Complex Miliary Tuberculosis Atypical Mycobacterium 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oscar Auerbach
  • David H. Dail

There are no affiliations available

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