The German Central Committee for the Fight against Tuberculosis (DZK) celebrates this year its 125 birthday. On this occasion, the DZK as one of the oldest TB organizations worldwide is looking back on the development during its history and records the results in a comprehensive book, summarized in this article. In the book, the various political changes with their impact on the DZK are mirrored, starting with the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the so-called “Third Reich”, the two German states separated after the Second World War and the current FRG. Tuberculosis (TB) was the dominant widespread disease in the 19 century, today it is the leading infectious disease worldwide. As a consequence of migration, this affects also Germany. After meanwhile – in particular in 2015/16 – risen numbers of new cases (especially of those not born in Germany, which in 2019 accounted for 72 % of all cases), the impact of drug-resistant tuberculosis (in 2019, 11.4 % of all new cases had some resistance (384 cases), including 87 cases of MDR-TB, and of these 8 cases of XDR-TB and 27 cases of pre-XDR-TB), as well as the high proportion (81,5 %) – in 2019 – of open and thus very infectious pulmonary TB among new TB cases in Germany, impressively show that TB continues to be a health problem that should not be underestimated and that is increasingly concentrated in risk groups (socially disadvantaged persons, people from high-prevalence countries, homeless people, drug addicts, alcoholics, HIV-infected persons). The DZK therefore continues to play an important role in TB control as a link between the national and international organizations responsible for combating TB.
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