The science of bacteriology is one of the youngest of the biologic disciplines on which the development of modern medicine rests. Bacteria were probably seen by the pioneer Leeuwenhoek before the end of the seventeenth century. Generations passed, however, before the beginnings of the remarkable progress that resulted in the formulation of the germ theory of disease. The doctrine of contagium vivum had, indeed, been proposed in earlier days; but it failed to take firm root and gradually disappeared from men's minds. There was some revival, after 1840, of the theory that contagious disease might be due to microscopic forms of life; but it remained for the great triumvirate—for the work of Pasteur, Koch and Lister—to build the firm foundation on which the present germ theory of disease rests.
March 24, the entire world of biologists and men of medicine will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of a great event in
THE DISCOVERY OF THE TUBERCLE BACILLUS, 1882. JAMA. 1932;98(10):818–819. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730360040012
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