Like Leprosy, Tuberculosis is one of the oldest infectious diseases of mankind.  For centuries, it constantly presented a major health issue, however without causing massive epidemics.

Similarly to Leprosy, the isolation of patients was the only way to interrupt the chain of infection. In Europe, patients were placed in sanatoriums. A different climate, intensive nutrition as well as individualised counselling were the main focus of the therapy. All in all, the objective was to improve hygiene as well as the living conditions  

The discovery of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Robert Koch, a German bacteriologist was the distinctive event in the history of Tuberculosis in 1882.

Further discoveries followed this event at shorter intervals:

  • the discovery of  the X-ray method in the year 1895
  • the introduction of a TB vaccination in the year 1921
  • the introduction of the first antibiotics – Streptomycin, PAS, Conteben and Neoteben -  in the year 1943

Thus, the medical therapy of Tuberculosis replaced the previously widely practiced surgical procedures e.g. Thorakoplastic, Pneuothorax, Lobectomie of the lungs.
(Dr. H. Kretschmer, Der Kassenarzt 16. 2000)

The emergence of the new disease HIV/AIDS profoundly changed the course of this epidemic. Since winter 1980/1981, a dramatic increase in Tuberculosis has been noted.