Liquefaction and cavity formation in pulmonary TB: A simple method in rabbit skin to test inhibitors

Arthur M. Dannenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


To control tuberculosis in the world today an additional approach would be most welcomed. Preventing (or reducing) pulmonary cavity formation is one such approach that has been almost completely neglected. Pulmonary cavity formation and the extracellular growth of tubercle bacilli in cavities cause bronchial spread of the disease in adult patients and spread of the bacillus to the environment where they infect other people. Therefore, cavity formation perpetuates tuberculosis in mankind. If no cavities form, the patient is much less infectious. Also, cavity formation often allows the tubercle bacillus to multiply (extracellularly) to tremendous numbers. Therefore, in humans almost all multidrug-resistant tubercle bacilli develop in cavities. This communication reviews the literature on liquefaction and cavity formation, and lists some of the responsible hydrolytic enzymes. It also describes a simple method to identify inhibitory pharmaceuticals, i.e., to observe their effect on the liquefaction and ulceration of skin lesions produced in rabbits by ascending concentrations of live or dead tubercle bacilli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Tuberculosis cavity formation
  • Tuberculosis in rabbits
  • Tuberculosis liquefaction
  • Tuberculosis ulceration in skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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