History of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of pulmonary sequelae of tuberculosis

Presse Med. 2022 Sep;51(3):104112. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2022.104112. Epub 2022 Feb 4.


Tuberculosis (TB), known as the White Plague' is of great significance to humanity for the magnitude of morbidity and mortality it has generated over centuries from the very start of human civilization. In this Review, we will describe the history of prevention (vaccination and management of TB infection), diagnosis, treatment and pulmonary rehabilitation of post-treatment sequelae. The article leads the reader through the main discoveries which paved the way to the modern approach to TB prevention and care. The history of Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine and of the diagnosis and treatment of TB infection are presented, together with that of diagnosis and treatment of TB disease. Pivotal was in 1882 the discovery by Robert Koch of the aetiological agent of TB, and his pioneering work in culturing the bacillus and developing tuberculin. Also of enormous importance was, in 1895, the discovery of the X-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, discovery which paved the way to the development of the modern imaging technologies. To complement this, the more recent history of rehabilitation of post-treatment sequelae is summarized, given the importance this issue has on patients' wellbeing and Quality of Life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • BCG Vaccine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Latent Tuberculosis*
  • Lung
  • Quality of Life
  • Tuberculosis* / prevention & control


  • BCG Vaccine