Skip to main content

Full text of "Pathogenic Bacteria"

See other formats

28                  PATHOGENIC BACTERIA.

only been perfected by workers as it has been found nec-
essary from time to time to comply in the most minute
detail with Henle's conditions, and as, one point being
carried, it was found necessary to advance on others.
The first of these was that a specific organism should
always be associated with the disease under consideration.
As such presence, however, might be accidental, these
organisms were not only to be found in pus, etc., but actu-
ally in the living body. As they might be, even then,
merely parasitic, and not associated directly with the
causation of the disease, it would be necessary to isolate
the germs, the contagium organisms, and the contagium
fluids, and to experiment with these separately with
special reference to their power of producing similar
diseases in other animals. We now know that it has
only been by strict compliance with all these conditions,
again postulated by Koch, that the most brilliant scien-
tific observers and experimentalists in Germany, France,
England, [and America] have been able to determine
the causal connection between micro-organisms and
disease." 1

The refined methods of Pasteur, but more especially
of Koch, by making possible the fulfilment of the pos-
tulates of Henle caused an enormous increase in the
rapidity with which data upon disease-germs were gath-
ered. Almost within a decade the causes of the most
important specific diseases were isolated and cultivated.

In 1879, Hausen announced the discovery of bacilli in
the cells of leprous nodules. The same year Neisser
discovered the gonococcus to be specific for gonorrhea.

In 1880 the bacillus of typhoid fever was first observed
by Eberth, and independently by Koch.

In 1880, Pasteur published his work upon " chicken-
cholera. n In the same year Sternberg described the
pneumococcus, calling it the micrococcus Pasteuri.

In 1882, Koch made himself immortal by his discov-
ery of and work upon the tubercle bacillus. The same

1 Woodhead : Bacteria and their Products, p. 65.