Spinal Tuberculosis: Rethinking an Old Disease

Spinal Tuberculosis (ST) is one of the oldest diseases known to mankind. Evidences of infection were found on vertebral remains dated from the Iron Age in Europe, and on mummies from South America and ancient Egypt. Despite of the fact the earliest cases of ST date from 2400 BC, the first modern description was made in 1779 by Sir Percival Pott in the European population. Thus, ST is also known as Pott’s disease.

Spinal Tuberculosis
Spinal Tuberculosis

The infection is caused by a highly aerobic, alcohol-acid-resistant, non-proteolytic enzyme-producing bacillus, the Mycobacterium tuberculosis, also known as Koch’s bacillus (BK) (In honor of its discoverer, the German bacteriologist Robert Koch).The improvement of public health measures and the introduction of effective anti-tuberculosis drugs have made the infection virtually eradicated in developed countries.


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