Tuberculosis: Commentary on a Reemergent Killer

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Science  21 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5073, pp. 1055-1064
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5073.1055


Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of death in the world from a single infectious disease, although there is little knowledge of the mechanisms of its pathogenesis and protection from it. After a century of decline in the United States, tuberculosis is increasing, and strains resistant to multiple antibiotics have emerged. This excess of cases is attributable to changes in the social structure in cities, the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic, and a failure in certain major cities to improve public treatment programs. The economic costs of not adequately addressing the problem of tuberculosis in this country are estimated from an epidemiological model.

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