The history of tuberculosis, cover of book "The greatest story never told"

World Tuberculosis Day. 24 March 2022

World Tuberculosis Day is held on the 24 March each year to raise awareness of the public health impact of this disease. On this date in 1882, Robert Koch announced he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened a way towards diagnosis and cure.

This year’s theme is “Invest to end TB. Save lives” and more details, including a live podcast on the day itself, may be found at:

The library holds a copy of the collected works of Robert Koch, in German, which was digitised and is freely available at:

A selection of books on TB are on display in the Reading Room, including:

1. The art and science of tuberculosis vaccine development – 2nd edition / editors: Norzami Mod Nor, Armando Acosta, Maria Elena Sarimento. – Selangor Darul Eshyun: Oxford Fajar Sdn. Bhd under licence from Oxford University Press, 2010 (2014 printing)

A very comprehensive account of the history, nature and causation of TB and the challenges in developing vaccines

2. Making tuberculosis history: community-based solutions for millions / BRAC Health Program. – Dhaka : University Press, 2011

3. Tuberculosis : the greatest story never told / Frank Ryan – Bromsgrove : Swift, 1992

BRAC’s work describes the approach to tuberculosis programs in Bangladesh since its emergence as a nation in 1971, while Ryan’s work describes tuberculosis in the USA and Europe, including its re-emergence in the context of AIDS and socio-economic changes in the 1980s and 1990s.

4. The return of the white plague : global poverty and the ‘new’ tuberculosis / edited by M. Gandy and A. Zumla – London and New York : Verso, 2003
A very descriptive title which looks at how poverty and socio-economic changes have influenced the incidence and epidemiology of TB world- wide

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