History of Bacteria

History of Bacteria

Posted By
Geetanjali Bhatia, Assistant prof. Dept. Microbology, Beehive College of Advence Studies, Dehradun, India.

Anton van Leeuwenhoek – the Dutchman, was the first person to see bacteria. He first observed bacteria through his single-lens microscope in 1674. He made his own simple lenses. . During his lifetime he made more than 250 microscopes consisting of home ground lenses mounted in brass and silver plates. His greatest discovery was on June16,1675 when he saw bacteria, fungi and many protozoa in rain water. He called them “animalcules”. Leeuwenhoek sent a report of his sightings of bacteria and algae to the Royal Society in London. For his contributions he is honoured as Father of Microbiology.

Louis Pasteur – he demonstrated that the fermentation process was caused by the growth of microorganisms or bacteria. Pasteur discovered the process of pasteurization killing bacteria by heating. He coined the term vaccine. He invented a number of vaccines including one against rabies. He also studied the bacterium that causes a disease called fowl cholera.

Robert Koch- a German Doctor showed the first time in 1876 that bacteria can cause disease. 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. He introduced staining techniques and also methods of obtaining bacteria in pure culture using solid media. He discovered bacillus tuberculosis in 1882 and Vibrio cholera in 1883.

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

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.

Dr. Eli Metchnikoff- Russian immunologist, In early 1900s, suggested that a synergistic interaction exists between bacteria and their host. The process known as phagocytosis.

Hansen (1874) – he described leprosy bacillus.

Ogston (1881) – he discovered staphylococcus.

Loeffler (1884) – he isolated diphtheria bacillus.

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