Scrofula is tuberculosis of the lymph nodes of the neck, usually acquired by drinking milk infected with bovine or atypical mycobacteria, and involving enlargement of the nodes with formation of a cold abscess. The eradication of tuberculosis in cattle has substantially reduced the incidence. Treatment includes antituberculosis chemotherapy. Scrofula used to be called King's Evil as the royal touch was believed to be curative.


Today scrofula is rare in developed countries. It occasionally develops in Asian or African immigrants in whom the infection has spread from tuberculosis elsewhere in the body.