This case study introduces students to Dr. E.L. Trudeau, who performed a seminal early experiment validating the germ theory of infection. Part I introduces Trudeau's Rabbit Island experiment, which is simple and easy for beginning or non-major students of biology or history of science to understand. Its results provided rational bases for the tuberculosis sanatorium movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. In Part I, students learn about tuberculosis and some of the rudiments of experimental design and graphic analysis. Part II focuses on tuberculosis in its social context. Students explain a curve on a graph that shows the rise of tuberculosis mortality from the start of the industrial revolution and the great mass movement to the cities. The curve begins to abate as public sanitation and living conditions improve with the development of a middle class, and finally drops precipitously in the 1950s with the advent of effective anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis antibiotics. Students also learn about the recent resurgence of tuberculosis with the AIDS epidemic, the emergence of drug-resistant strains, and the peculiar contribution of mass incarceration to the global crisis. The case study was developed for non-major biology students; it could also be used with freshman biology majors as well as with history of science students.