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Glorious Age of Microbiology, 19th Century Bacteriology

The Glorious Age of Microbiology-19th Century Bacteriology

The Renaissance ushered in the beginning of modern civilization in the world. After the industrial revolution in the 18th century, major capitalist countries such as Britain, France, Germany, the United States and Japan all developed rapidly after the mid-19th century. Along with economic progress, technology is also taking off. In the field of medicine, there have been many achievements in the 19th century. One of the outstanding features is the great success of bacteriology.

1. Era created Bacteriologists

The second half of the 19th century was the era of bacteriological gains in medical history. Among them, the French microbiologist Pasteur and the German microbiologist Koch were the most famous. They were representatives of many microbiologists.

1.1 Pasteur (L. Pasteur, 1822-1895) was born in a small village in France. He graduated from Paris Normal University in 1847. After graduation, he went to Strasbourg as a professor of chemistry. Dean, professor of chemistry at Solburn University, etc.
In 1857, he returned to Paris Normal University to engage in microbiology research, leading and establishing the famous Pasteur Institute.

Pasteur has made many contributions in science. He initially studied chemistry, devoted to the light problem of tartrate crystals and gluconate crystals, promoted the study of the optical rotation of organic compounds, and provided a theoretical basis for the establishment of stereochemistry.
He also became a famous chemist, but His most outstanding achievement is still in microbiology.

French wine and beer are well-known in the world, but in the process of selling abroad, the problem of wine deterioration often occurs, which seriously affects the French foreign exchange export. Pasteur was ordered to solve this problem. 

Regarding the phenomenon of wine fermentation deterioration, German chemist J. Liebig (1503-1872) thinks this is a chemical process. Pasteur spent more than a year to prove that alcohol intoxication is not a problem of purity, but the result of the action of microorganisms.

At first, Pasteur adopted a heating method to prevent wine fermentation, but the wine had volatilized at 100 , so the wine was heated to about 50-60 instead, and the time was extended by 20 - 30min.
This not only kills the fermenting microorganisms, but also does not make the wine volatilize. This method is called “pasteurization method”. 

In the 1860s, Pasteur submitted several papers on fermentation to the French Academy of Sciences. 

In 1879, he completed the book "Fermentation Physiology", which clarified the fermentation process, anaerobic phenomena and the nature of anaerobic microorganisms. It provides a scientific basis and lays a foundation for industrial microbiology and medical microbiology. 

In addition to the wine industry, the silk industry is also a pillar industry in France. Silkworms died in batches due to the occurrence of silkworm disease. 

Pasteur believes that silkworm disease is also caused by microorganisms. He believes that isolation of diseased silkworms and healthy silkworms can control the disease. 

It is said that these two jobs alone saved France 500,000 francs for France. This amount happened to be France's compensation to Germany in the Franco-Prussian War. Therefore, Pasteur occupies a very high position in the eyes of the French people. Pasteur is a steadfast patriot. 

During the Franco-Prussian War, he was extremely resentful of the German invasion. He resolutely returned the honorary degree certificate given to him by the University of Bonn in Germany. 

His famous saying "Science has no motherland, but scientists have a motherland" is a household name that has inspired millions of people's patriotic enthusiasm.

Difference in Opinion on the study of natural occurrence in biology

There have been many different views on the study of natural occurrence in biology. Pasteur used experiments to prove that organisms did not come out of thin air, overturning the prevailing theory of natural occurrence at that time. 

In 1879 Pasteur first discovered and named staphylococci and streptococci, and later discovered the causative agent of scabies and trichinosis. 

He also first discovered the characteristics of anaerobic bacteria, suggesting that animal fever is related to pathogenic bacteria. His many discoveries and the microbial vaccine he successfully developed made him a well-deserved microbiologist in the 19th century.

1.2 Koch Koch (R. Koch, 1843-1910) was born in Germany and his father is a mine employee. After graduating from high school in 1862, he attended Göttingen University, studied botany, physics and mathematics, and later turned to medicine. 

He started practicing medicine after graduating from university and served as a military doctor in the Franco-Prussian War. Appointed to the Berlin Institute of Health in 1850, Professor of Hygiene and Bacteriology at the University of Berlin in 1885, Director of the Institute of Infectious Diseases at the University of Berlin in 1891, Member of the Royal Society of England in 1897, and Foreigner of the French Academy of Sciences in 1902 academician.

After the end of the Franco-Prussian War, his wife gave him a microscope, and since then Koch has made monotonous observations under the microscope. 

In 1876, he began to study Bacillus anthracis and the relationship between Bacillus anthracis and cattle and sheep and humans, revealing that Bacillus anthracis after multiple generations of culture in vitro can still cause anthracnose in animals. This view was opposed by many scholars, but because of the support of Pasteur, it was finally accepted by people. 

In 1877-1878, Koch mainly studied bacteriological techniques, improved the drying method of bacteria on glass slides, invented the staining method of bacterial flagella and tissue sections, established the hanging drop specimen inspection method, and established the microphotography technology. 

During 1881, the method of cultivating bacteria with animal glue plates was completed. This method made it possible to cultivate bacteria purely.
1882 was Koch’s world-famous year because he used acid-fast staining to discover the tuberculosis bacteria hidden under the microscope, freeing humans from the long-term troubles of the white plague and providing a clear goal for the future treatment of tuberculosis.

 In 1883, Koch was elected as a member of the German Cholera Committee, visited Egypt and India, investigated the cholera epidemic, and found human Vibrio cholerae, and also found human conjunctivitis bacteria. 

In 1884, Koch promulgated the criteria for determining whether a certain microorganism was a pathogenic microorganism, that is, the "Koch Principle". Although this standard is not perfect, it provides a basis for determining the pathogen of the disease.

Koch was famous for his bacteriological research. At the International Medical Science Conference held in Berlin in 1890, he announced the discovery of tuberculin, a drug that can treat tuberculosis.
The whole world gets excited, but a few years later, it was discovered that tuberculin can only be used as a diagnosis of tuberculosis, and it does not have a therapeutic effect, so Koch's reputation has plummeted. 

But until his death, Koch insisted on the study of bacteriology. Due to his achievements, Koch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1905.

2. Fruitful results of bacteriology

Since Pasteur and Koch, various pathogenic bacteria have been discovered one after another. The first is that European scholars have made many new discoveries.

In 1825, France's Bretonne (PFBertonneau, 1778-1862) distinguished scarlet fever and diphtheria from two different diseases; in 1838, Allenberg (G. Ehernberg, 1795-1876) distinguished unicellular organisms from recessive.

The classification of Trichinella spiralis and Vibrio was written in biological works.

In 1872 Cohn (F. Cohn, 1828-1898) discovered Bacillus subtilis.

In 1873, Obermaier (Obermaier) found to return to T. pallidum.

In 1875, Hansen (A, Ha-nsen, 1841-1912) found leprosy bacillus.

In 1879, Neisseria (ALS Neisser) discovered Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

 In 1880, Karl (.EKalr) found typhoid bacillus in the spleen and intestinal tract of typhoid patients.

In 1881, Klebsi (.EKlebs, 1534-1913) discovered typhoid bacillus.

In 1883, diphtheria bacillus was observed.

In 1882, Ogg A. ogston found Staphylococcus aureus.

In 1884, Koch student Lefler (F. mer, 1852-1915) successfully cultured diphtheria bacillus in vitro, and distinguished diphtheria from pseudodiphtheria.

1884 A. Nicoilaer discovered Tetanus bacillus in 1886.

A. Fraenkel discovered Pneumococcus pneumoniae in 1886.

R. Pfeiffer discovered influenza bacillus in 1892.
Ogata in 1897 (M. Ogata) proposed that the plague was spread by fleas.

In 1900, Shcolttmuller distinguished that typhoid and paratyphoid were caused by different microorganisms.

When European scientists contributed to bacteriology, Asian scientists also achieved It was a gratifying achievement, but most of their achievements were made in Europe. 

In 1889, the Japanese scholar S. Kitasato (1856-1931) cultivated tetanus bacillus in vitro to create an animal model of tetanus. 

In 1894, the plague was pandemic in Hong Kong. Experiments on pure culture of Yersinia pestis and animal infections; Shiga of Japan discovered Shigella in 1898, which made people finally understand the cause of dysentery.

Glorious Age of Microbiology  Bacteriology Chart

3. The impact of bacteriology on medicine

3.1 Promoting the establishment of immunology

Most people will choose drugs to treat after they become ill, and many diseases can be prevented if they are immunized in advance. This is the function of immunology. The so-called immunology refers to the biological science of studying the immunity, immune response, immune response rules, immunological methods and techniques of biological organisms.

It is generally believed that the development of immunology has gone through four periods: the period of empirical immunology, the period of classic immunology, the period of modern immunology and the period of modern immunology. Among them, the period from the 18th century to the middle of the 20th century was a period of classic immunology. During this period, the development of immunology was closely related to microbiology.

With the development of bacteriology, scientists have obtained attenuated vaccines through systematic research, using physical, chemical, and biological methods based on the creation of bacterial isolation and culture technology. For example, Pasteur uses weakened bacteria to prevent the infection of chicken cholera; injects weakened Bacillus anthracis into sheep to prevent sheep anthracnose.

Rabies virus is used to prepare rabies vaccine in rabbits through successive passages. These are the beginning of active immunization. In 1890, Behring (E.von. Behirng, 1854-1917) and Kitashiri Shigero completed the research on diphtheria antitoxin. As a result, Behring won the first Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. This is the beginning of passive immunity.

The invention of attenuated vaccines and anti-sera not only laid the foundation for experimental immunology, but also opened the way for the development of vaccines and promoted the new development of therapeutics after the 19th century.

3.2 Promote the birth of disinfection method

Aseptic operation is an important guarantee for the success of modern surgery. In all historical periods before the 19th century, although there were large and small operations, the operations were performed in a savage state, and infection after surgery was a common cause of patient death. It wasn't until scientists such as Pasteur and Koch discovered microbes that were invisible to the naked eye under a microscope that they uncovered the mystery of postoperative infection.

Lister (1827-1912) was a famous British surgeon in the 19th century. According to Liszt, about 1/2 of the amputation patients died of postoperative infection. When Liszt learned that Pasteur discovered the cause of fermentation, he was inspired to guess that postoperative infections were also caused by microorganisms.

So Liszt borrowed the disinfection method invented by Pasteur to find suitable disinfection substances. He tried zinc chloride and found that carbolic acid was the most ideal.

On August 12, 1865, Liszt applied carbolic acid for the complicated fracture operation for the first time and achieved success. Two years later, Liszt summarized his successful experience into a paper and published it in the famous "Lancet" magazine.

Since the invention of anesthesia, especially the sterilization of carbolic acid, many complicated operations have been carried out. Liszt not only used carbolic acid to clean wounds, but also sterilized the operating table and operating room with carbolic acid. 

These measures greatly reduced the mortality due to surgical infection. However, the problem of wound infection has not been completely solved so far. In 1886, German Bergman (E.von. Bergmann, 1536-1907) invented the high-pressure steam sterilization method to usher in the era of true sterility in the history of medicine.

Whether it is sterilization by carbonic acid or high-pressure steam sterilization, its ultimate goal is to make bacteria in nature lose its toxicity. Imagine that without the contribution of microbiologists, people will still live in the chaotic era of postoperative infections.

3.3 Promoting the development of microbiology

 After the Renaissance, the medical form of hospitals has become common in the West. Hospitals have become a place to save lives, but sometimes there are phenomena that are not understood, such as why the mortality rate of women who give birth in the hospital is higher than that of the family. 

Is mortality rate of women who give birth even higher?

 The research results of bacteriology in the 19th century made people realize that this was caused by bacteria.
In order to find more causes of diseases, many scientists have devoted themselves to the field of bacteriology, and thus promoted the further development of microbiology in the 20th century.

In 1905, S. syphilis was found in the secretions of syphilitic sores by F.R. Sehaudinn (1871-1906) and Hoffman (E. Hoffinann, 1868-?). 

In 1911, the Japanese Noguchi Noguchi (1576-1928) completed the artificial cultivation of Treponema pallidum, and later he found the spirochete in the cerebrospinal chick tissue fluid of the body of the paralytic maniac.

The first person who discovered the virus was Ivanov in Russia. In 1892, he discovered the filtered virus in the process of studying tobacco leaf spot disease.

In 1898, Lefler and Frach (P. Frosch, 1860-1928) discovered the FMD virus. Because the virus must be parasitic on other organisms, in vitro culture is very difficult. It was not until 1931 that someone successfully cultured foot-and-mouth disease virus in chicken eggs.

"Rickettsia" was first named by Brazilian scholar Rocha-LimaDa to commemorate the American scientist Rickie (HTRieketts1871-1910) and Czech scientist Prau who dedicated to the study of typhus.

Prowazek von, 1916 Rocha-Lima proposed to use "Rickettsia porwazekii" to name the causative agent of epidemic typhus. In 1921, Wolbach and others confirmed that the pathogen of European typhus was also Rickettsia przewalskii. 

At the same time, rat-type typhus also began to attract people's attention. In 1931, Monteiro suggested that Riekesttia Mooseir be named to clarify that the pathogen of rat-type typhus is different from that of European epidemic typhus.

The achievements of medical microbiology in the 20th century exceeded those of the 19th century.
With the help of electron microscopes, viruses smaller than bacteria have also been discovered, and with the increasingly rich research methods, such as biochemical methods and immunological methods, the nature of pathogenic microorganisms and the pathogenic mechanism can be studied more deeply. The road to conquer the disease seems clear.

3.4 Indicating the direction of pharmacology

The development of microbiology has made people believe that pathogenic microorganisms have created diseases, so people are actively looking for ways to kill these microorganisms. Chemical drugs and antibiotics were developed under this background. People expect to have a medicine that can kill bacteria without harming people.

The German chemist Erich (P.Ehirhc, 1854-1915) developed the Salvasran powder, or 606, in 1910 after many experiments.
At first it was thought that people's wishes were satisfied, but later it was discovered that 606 could not kill bacteria, but it had lethal effect on Treponema pallidum. Later, 606 was improved to 914, which became an effective drug for the treatment of syphilis. 

Along with the research direction of chemical drugs, in 1935 German chemist Domack (.GDO-magk1895-1964) discovered a red dye, namely a derivative of p-aminobenzenesulfonic acid, commonly known as Protosil, capable of killing Streptococcus dead, pneumococcus, meningococcal, gonococcal and other cocci.
The emergence of sulfonamides has opened up new ways to synthesize drugs.

Antibiosis refers to the confrontational relationship between the two microorganisms. As early as in the Pasteur era, the germination concept of antibiotics was known.
At that time, it was known that certain bacteria in the air could inhibit the growth of Bacillus anthracis, but it did not attract people's attention. 

In 1922 British bacteriologist Fleming (A. Fleming, 1881-1955) discovered bacteriolysis. 

In 1928, the Staphylococcus aureus cultured by Fleming was contaminated by Penicillium, and the hyphae of Staphylococcus around Penicillium became transparent and even dissolved. He concluded that the bactericidal substance was a metabolite produced by Penicillium in the growth process, which he called penicillin.

Later Fleming research confirmed that penicillin has the function of killing bacteria such as streptococcus, which is very toxic to humans and animals, and will not affect the white blood cells in humans.

Penicillin was successfully used in the treatment of patients for the first time in 1943. It has been clinically confirmed that penicillin has obvious therapeutic effects on infectious diseases such as scarlet fever, syphilis, diphtheria, meningitis and gonorrhea. 

After the birth of penicillin, antibiotics such as streptomycin, chlortetracycline, tetracycline and oxytetracycline have been discovered and used clinically. Effective drugs against bacteria are constantly being discovered.
Microbiology  Bacteriology. Chart Showing Types of Bacteria

4. Summary and Postscript

Under the leadership of great bacteriologists such as Pasteur and Koch, bacteriology began to establish, develop, and quickly penetrated into various fields of medicine. People have known pathogenic microorganisms such as Bacillus anthracis, Vibrio cholerae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Pneumococcus from the microscopic world, and found the causes of many diseases.

Bacteriology became the most important subject in the field of medicine in the 19th century.

The fruitful results of bacteriology in the 19th century explained well that the causes of some diseases came from in vitro microbes, breaking the fallacy of ghosts and spirits, and making humankind's understanding of diseases greatly advance. Since then, the dream of mankind to conquer the plague has become a reality.

Beginning with bacteria, the veil of some smaller microorganisms such as viruses, chlamydia, spirochetes, rickettsia, etc. was gradually unveiled, thus beginning the heyday of microbiology. 

The emerging disciplines such as virology, modern immunology, antibiotic pharmacology and therapeutics have also developed rapidly. Scientists have invented many methods and means to deal with these pathogenic microorganisms, such as physical high-temperature sterilization, ultraviolet radiation disinfection, various vaccines, antibiotic drugs, etc. 

Although the effects of these methods are not perfect, humans have since got rid of the large-scale periodic outbreak of the plague. Diseases such as plague, cholera, diphtheria, dysentery, tuberculosis, septicemia and suppuration of wounds are no longer serious diseases that threaten human life. 

For new infectious diseases that still appear now or in the future, such as SARS and AIDS, even if humans cannot find a medicine to subdue them temporarily, they know how to avoid the outbreak of large-scale infections by blocking their transmission.

In addition, microbiology is constantly producing research results that are closely related to the daily lives of ordinary people, such as bread fermentation, winemaking technology, environmental protection, energy development and so on.
Therefore, the emergence of bacteriology in the 19th century was a huge leap in the history of medicine, which not only had a huge impact on medicine, but also changed the entire world.


Author's Bio

Doctor Shawna Reason, Virologist
Dr. Shawna Reason
Name: Shawna Reason

Education: MBBS, MD

Occupation: Medical Doctor / Virologist 

Specialization: Medical Science, Micro Biology / Virology, Natural Treatment

Experience: 15 Years as a Medical Practitioner

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