Tag Archives: Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau and aeration of the White Plague

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Photo from the Adirondack Experience Museum. Circa 1895. Edward Livingston Trudeau was born in 1848, one year before Frédéric Chopin died of tuberculosis. Trudeau’s extended family eventually included Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, and Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame. In his time tuberculosis was killing […]

The finality in their voices: death, disease, and palliation in opera

Lea C. Dacy Eelco F. M. Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   Figure 1: Violetta’s deathbed in La Traviata, from 2009 Glimmerglass Opera production directed by Sir Jonathan Miller. Photo by Richard Termine, used with his permission. I know she had tuberculosis! She was coughing her brains out . . . but still she kept […]

Scurvy before James Lind

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Captain James Cook (1728-1779). Nathaniel Dance. BHC2628 Cures of disease are still relatively uncommon. Scurvy is an example of a disease well recognized but whose cause eluded doctors for centuries until an empirical curative remedy and later a specific cause were discovered. In more recent times Koch’s discovery […]

Reflections on early 20th century tuberculosis: a juxtaposition of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain and Edward L. Trudeau’s Autobiography

Gregory Rutecki Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Abandoned German TB sanitarium The early twentieth century was an auspicious time for medicine. Physicians of the era would be the first to transform the mysterious “captain of all these men of death” into a living, “breathing” bacillus named Mycobacterium tuberculosis.1 As a corollary of the fundamental discovery, […]

Tuberculosis – a journey across time

Mindy Schwartz   Introduction Few diseases have captured the imagination more than tuberculosis (TB). Tuberculosis fascinates many people – scientists and epidemiologists, artists and humanitarians, sociologists and physicians. It is as much the stuff of art and song as a merciless killer of the young and old. Even its name conjures the image of the […]