Date of Defense
Dr. Tal Simmons
Dr. Robert Sundick
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a chronic or acute infection of both humans and animals, has been a consistent plague throughout the world for thousands of years. Evidence of this disease has been found in mummies in Egypt as early as 3700 B.C., and it has been suggested that the two most common types—human and bovine— may have had their origins in the Near East (Manchester, 1983). Bovine tuberculosis spreads from infected cattle to humans most often through milk, and in the early part of this century, infected milk accounted for 85% of all new cases of tuberculosis in children under the age of 10 (Zimmerman and Kelley, 1982). The bovine type tends to infect the intestinal tract and skeleton, while the human form is usually pulmonary in nature. The spread of the human form is through contact with the sputum and other excreta of an infected person (Manchester, 1983). There is some debate as to whether or not human tuberculosis is a disease of crowded urban areas (Manchester, 1983) or whether it thrives equally well in small groups (Powell, 1988). Given the fairly easy routes of contamination and the disease's ability to remain in its hosts for many years in a dormant state, it is probably fair to say that tuberculosis can survive in both large and small groups.
Poorman, Jocelyn, "Skeletal Lesions in Tuberculosis: An Update and Reappraisal" (1996). Honors Theses. 1450.
Honors Thesis-Campus Only