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Coloured X-ray showing tuberculosis of bone affecting a finger. The infection is progressively destroying the bone of the phalanges (dark cavities) and causing swelling of surrounding soft tissues. The use of antibiotics has made this type of bone infection increasingly rare. Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and in the middle of the 19th century it was responsible for about a quarter of all deaths in Europe. The infection develops in the lungs and then may spread to other parts of the body via the vessels of the lymphatic system or the bloodstream.
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