American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A rod-shaped aerobic bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that causes tuberculosis.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Med.) a minute vegetable organism (Mycobacterium tuberculosis, formerly Bacillus tuberculosis, and also called
Koch's bacillus) discovered by Koch, a German physician, in the sputum of consumptive patients and in tuberculous tissue. It is the causative agent of tuberculosis.
- n. cause of tuberculosis
“Both Claude Bernard and Virchow had expressed their respective ideas before Robert Koch's discovery of the tubercle bacillus in 1882 won the decisive vic - tory for the germ theory of disease.”
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