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Mycobacterium bovis Infection

Mack R. Holdiness, MD, PhD
Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(10):1930. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360100204047.
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To the Editor.  —In the April issue of the Archives, O'Donohue et al1 presented an interesting article concerning pulmonary infection due to Mycobacterium bovis, and the use of short-term chemotherapy for treatment. I would like to comment on pharmacological therapy for such infection, especially in patients with possible liver disease.In an earlier letter in the Archives,2 I discussed some of the causes of spread of this bacillus in humans. Historically, it is interesting to note that in 1917, 5% of the cattle in the United States were estimated to be infected with this strain, and approximately 25% of the deaths from tuberculosis in adult humans were actually caused by M bovis. Institution of surveillance programs and compulsory pasteurization of milk led to a dramatic decrease in human infection. However, infection still occurs, and a recent authoritative review of this subject suggested that once cases due to reactivation


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