GC: n

S: WHO – (last access: 5 April 2015); NCBI – (last access: 3 March 2020).

N: 1. 1860, “disease characterized by tubercules,” a medical Latin hybrid, from Latin tuberculum “small swelling, pimple,” diminutive of tuber “lump” (see tuber) + -osis, a suffix of Greek origin. So called in reference to the tubercules which form in the lungs. Originally in reference to any disease characterized by tubercules; since the discovery in 1882 of the tubercule bacillus by German bacteriologist Robert Koch (1843-1910) restricted to disease caused by this. Abbreviation T.B. attested from 1912.
2. tuberculosis (TB), tuberculosis: chest x-rays of tuberculosis patients infectious disease that is caused by the tubercle bacillus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In most forms of the disease, the bacillus spreads slowly and widely in the lungs, causing the formation of hard nodules (tubercles) or large cheeselike masses that break down the respiratory tissues and form cavities in the lungs. Blood vessels also can be eroded by the advancing disease, causing the infected person to cough up bright red blood.
3. Any of the infectious diseases caused by species of Mycobacterium and characterized by tubercle formation with caseous necrosis in the tissues. The usual causative species are M. tuberculosis and M. bovis. Tuberculosis occurs in various different animal shumanpecies and can vary widely in its manifestations, with a tendency to long chronicity. Any organ may be affected, but in humans the lung is the major seat of the disease (pulmonary tuberculose) and is the usual portal of entry into the body.
4. Terminology disambiguation: plague = peste (ES), peste; pest = plaga (ES), plague; black plague or bubonic plague = peste bubónica (ES), peste bubonique; Black Death = peste negra (ES), peste noire; white plague = tuberculosis (ES), tuberculose.
5. Cultural Interrelation:

  • Fiction: The Magic Mountain (German: Der Zauberberg, 1924) by Thomas Mann (1875-1955).
  • Reality: The writer George Orwell (1903-1950) died of tuberculosis.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 5 September 2014). 2. EncBrit – (last access: 6 September 2015). 3. DORLAND p. 1979. 4. COSNAUTAS (last access: 17 April 2016); FCB. 5. (last access: 17 April 2016); BBC – (last access: 5 April 2015).


S: TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 6 September 2015); EncBrit – (last access: 6 September 2015); GDT (last access: 6 September 2015).

CR : Addison’s disease, bacillus, bacterium, Buruli ulcer, hemoptysis, plague, rifampicin, streptomycin.