J R Army Med Corps 159:190-199 doi:10.1136/jramc-2013-000115
  • Review

Tuberculosis and the military

  1. D Wilson2
  1. 1The University of Oxford, The Jenner Institute, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Department of Military Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Surg Lt Cdr Matthew K O'Shea, The University of Oxford, The Jenner Institute, Old Road Campus Research Building, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK; matthew.oshea{at}


Tuberculosis (TB) causes significant morbidity and mortality among the global civilian population. Historically, TB has also been responsible for a considerable burden of disease among military populations during periods of both peace and conflict. TB will continue to be of importance to the military for several reasons. Military units live and work in confined environments, personnel may deploy to areas highly endemic for TB where there is the potential to be exposed to infected local communities, and they undertake physiologically stressful activities during training and operations. These are just a few of the factors that may increase the risk of acquiring, developing and transmitting TB among military personnel. This review examines the military relevance of TB in the modern era within the context of epidemiological, pathological and clinical considerations of this ancient disease.

  • Received May 25, 2013.
  • Accepted May 29, 2013.
  • Published Online First 2 July 2013

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