Lordi, George M. Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and Dentistry, Newark, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:October 2016
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A chronic infectious disease (also known as consumption) of humans and animals primarily involving the lungs and caused by the tubercle bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (often abbreviated TB) is chiefly an infection of the lungs, but any organ system is susceptible; thus, its manifestations may be varied. The tubercle bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Fig. 1) was discovered by Robert Koch in 1882. Effective therapy and methods of control and prevention of tuberculosis have been developed, but the disease remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity throughout the world. See also: Bacteria; Bacteriology; Infectious disease; Medical bacteriology; Mycobacterial diseases; Public health
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