Monday, October 3, 2011

History of Bacteria Discovery

Anton van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutchman first observed bacteria through his single-lens microscope in 1674. He made his own simple lenses to try to satisfy his curiosity about living things.

He observed the bacteria in suspension of white material he obtained from his teeth – dental plaque.

Later, Louis Pasteur demonstrated that the fermentation process was caused by the growth of microorganisms or bacteria.

Pasteur discovered the process of pasteurization – killing bacteria by heating – and invented a number of vaccines including one against rabies.

This was followed by Robert Koch’s experiments on bacteria as a source of disease, specifically the anthrax bacillus, for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1905. Robert Koch, a German Doctor showed the first time in 1876 that bacteria can cause disease.

The German medical scientist Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) developed the first theory concerning how bacteria cause diseases and how the immune system fights these micro-organisms.

During the years from 1878 to 1884 Burrill, in Illinois , working on the well-known fire blight of apples and pears discovered that it was caused by bacteria.

Wakker a young Dutch pathologist, working on the so-called yellow disease of hyacinth, proved it to be caused by bacteria. He published his result from 1883-89.

In early 1900s, Russian immunologist Dr. Eli Metchnikoff, suggested that a synergistic interaction exists between bacteria and their host. He proposed that a link existed between better health and longer life after noted the longevity of Bulgarian peasants who ate a lot of yoghurt.
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