Today most people in the richer parts of the world think of tuberculosis, if they think of it at all, as a ghost of history. Throughout ancient times the tenacious bacterial infection consumed the bodies of untold millions, rich and poor, filling their lungs with bloody sputum. As TB spread in the centuries that followed, it continued to attack across economic and class lines, affecting both the famous and the obscure. Among its better-known victims: poet Manuel Bandeira, writers Emily and Anne Brontë, and sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty. By the early 20th century humanity had begun fighting back with public health campaigns, improved living standards, and eventually antibiotics and a modestly effective vaccine. Although in 2011 TB sickened nearly nine million people, killing 1.4 million of them, mostly in the poorer regions of the globe, the mortality rate has nonetheless fallen by more than a third since 1990. Things are looking up—or so it may seem.