Development of Germ Theory

germs

√ Image Source: http://www.planetc1.com/search/the-germ-theory-of-life.html

1.  The discovery of germs took place over the span of a couple of thousand years:

2.  36 BC – The first to express an inkling that germs might exist was a Roman scholar named Marcus Terentius Varro

  • He wrote a great deal on agriculture and warned of minute creatures that brought about disease in the areas in and around swamps
  • “…and because there are bred certain minute creatures that cannot be seen by the eyes, which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and there cause serious diseases”

√ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease#cite_note-1
√ Source: http://www.pharmacymuseum.org/fun%20facts.htm

3.  1546 – Italian physician Girolamo Fracastoro puts forth the notion that epidemics are caused by small entities that cause infection either by direct or indirect contact
√ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease#cite_note-1
√ Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/215496/Girolamo-Fracastoro

4.  1676 – Dutch biologist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek using advanced microscope technology which he himself had perfected, becomes the first to observe microscopic organisms

  • For this reason he is called the Father of Microbiology

√ Source: http://www.pharmacymuseum.org/fun%20facts.htm
√ Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/334699/Antonie-van-Leeuwenhoek
√ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease#cite_note-1

5.  1700 – French physician Nicolas Andry de Bois-Regard connects microscopic organisms with smallpox and other contagious diseases

  • Incidentally, he is considered the Father of Orthopedics

√ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease#cite_note-1

6.  1835 – The Italian entomologist Agostino Bassi may be the first to formally lay out germ theory of disease

  • This was based on his observations of a lethal epidemic that was devastating the silkworm population

√ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease#cite_note-1
√ Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/55517/Agostino-Bassi

7.  1847 – Austrian obstetrician named Ignaz Semmelweis implements sanitary practices within a Vienna maternity ward
√ Source: http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=2024
√ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ_theory_of_disease#cite_note-1

8.  1860 – French chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur proves Germ Theory to be correct

  • Key to this was disproving the notion of spontaneous generation of germs from nothing
  • He is perhaps best known for inventing a method to stop milk and wine from causing sickness – the process of “pasteurization” is named for him

√ Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/pasteur_louis.shtml

9.  1883 – British surgeon Joseph Lister pioneers antiseptic surgery
√ Source: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/people/josephlister.aspx