On the origin of American tuberculosis

Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Aug 15;41(4):515-8. doi: 10.1086/432013. Epub 2005 Jun 24.


After more than a century of debate, it is now firmly established that tuberculosis existed in the New World before the arrival of Columbus. What is not yet known is how or when, exactly, the infection reached the Americas, how it spread from one continent to the other, and whether the pre-Columbian infection was caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Americas
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Tuberculosis / history*