Author(s): Sakula A
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Abstract This is an account of the life and work of Robert Koch (1843-1910), Nobel Laureate in Medicine and a founder of the science of bacteriology. In particular, Koch's researches into tuberculosis are described - the discovery of the tubercle bacillus, the controversy regarding the human and bovine types, the Koch phenomenon, and the introduction of tuberculin, which proved to be ineffective as a cure but became important as a diagnostic tool in the management of tuberculosis. By his achievements in this field, Koch may be considered to be the father of the scientific study of tuberculosis. On the occasion of the centenary of Koch's discovery of the tubercle bacillus in 1882, we pay tribute to this great German master of medicine.Robert Koch's discovery of the tubercle bacillus in 1882 was a major event in the history of medicine, a turning point in our understanding and conquest of that deadly disease which had plagued mankind for millenia. After centuries of speculation as to the possible infectious nature of tuberculosis, Koch proved conclusively that the cause of the disease was infection by a specific micro-organism which he isolated. In tuberculosis, both seed and soil play their part, but without the seed - the tubercle bacillus - there is no disease.On the occasion of the centenary of Koch's discovery of the tubercle bacillus, we pay tribute to the father of the modern scientific approach to the management of tuberculosis.
This article was published in Can Vet J
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals