Tuberculinum Kochii

Tuberculinum Kochii

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Tuberculosis has been, and continues to be, one of the most debilitating and deadly infectious diseases in human history. Its primary cause, the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis, was discovered in 1882 by the German bacteriologist Robert Koch (1843-1910). In 1890, Koch announced that tuberculin, a sterile liquid which he produced from cultures of the bacillus, could be used not only to diagnose the disease but maybe even cure it in its early stages. People from all over the world streamed to Berlin for the new cure. Unfortunately, tuberculin proved not to be a cure. But it has been a good diagnostic tool for tuberculosis.
Koch's tuberculin in this bottle was made in 1891 and bears the signature of the physician Dr. Libbartz, who worked for the German pharmaceutical company Hoechst, and who, together with Koch's son-in-law, Dr. E. Pfuhl, tested tuberculin at clinical trials in Berlin.
Currently not on view
Object Name
diagnostic, tuberculosis
Other Terms
Tuberculinun, Kochii; Biologicals; Drugs
date made
ca 1891
Physical Description
glass; paper; fabric; organic material (unspecified) (overall material)
amber (overall color)
overall: 5.1 cm x 2 cm; 2 in x 13/16 in
overall: 2 in x 7/8 in; 5.08 cm x 2.2225 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of American Pharmaceutical Association
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
The Antibody Initiative
Antibody Initiative: Diagnostics
Antibody Initiative: Tuberculosis
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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