Today, more people have tuberculosis than at the time of the initiation of effective chemotherapy in the mid-1940s, when streptomycin and PAS (para-aminosalicylic acid) were introduced, followed by the miracle drug isoniazid. These drugs, when given in combination for a sufficient time, could cure virtually every person with active tuberculosis of any type.
But, alas, drug resistance emerged, and efforts directed toward the global control of tuberculosis were feeble and therefore futile. Today it is estimated that approximately one third of the world's population is infected. So, although we have accumulated great knowledge about etiology, pathogenesis, and treatment, we have failed in our goal of the control of tuberculosis, for a number of bureaucratic and economic reasons.
The authors of Tuberculosis have produced a magnificent and comprehensive, full-length text, covering virtually everything that we now know about tuberculosis. Its seven sections range from history to clinical manifestations to prevention