13 March 2019
In March of 1882, Robert Koch used tissue from infected guinea pigs to show that the lung disease tuberculosis (TB) is caused by the organism Mycobacterium tuberculosis. At that time, TB was a constant presence in the population, infecting between 70 to 90 percent of people in urban areas of Europe and North America. Nowadays, although the mortality due to TB has reduced in developed countries, it remains a huge health issue and March is recognised globally as TB Awareness Month. In fact, the disease is still the leading cause of infection-related death worldwide, with up to one-third of the human population having latent TB.