Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: anthrax

  • Koch’s postulates revisited

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1722), a Dutch botanist, using his early microscope observed single-celled bacteria, which he reported to the Royal Society as animalcules. The science of bacteriology owes its origin to two scientists of coruscating originality, Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. Pasteur may be described as master-architect and Koch as master-builder…

  • Diagnosis: Neurosyphilis. Treatment: Malaria, iatrogenic

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Patient in Kettering hypertherm cabinet undergoing fever therapy. New Orleans, 1937. U.S. Marine Hospital. Works Progress Administration photo. New Orleans Public Library Digital Collections via Wikimedia. Public domain. “The syphilitic man was thinking hard…about how to get his legs to step off the curb and carry him across Washington Street.…

  • Robert Koch, M.D., and the cure for sleeping sickness: ethics versus economics

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden Primum non nocere. (First, do no harm.)— Hippocrates Robert Koch, M.D., (1843–1910) started his career as a country doctor and discovered the causes of tuberculosis, anthrax, and cholera. He is considered to be, along with Louis Pasteur, the founder of the field of bacteriology. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology…

  • Scotland’s Anthrax Island

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Cutaneous anthrax lesion on the neck, May 25, 1953. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. “They make a desolation and call it peace.” — Agha Shahid Ali (1949–2001)   During World War Two, the British government purchased from its owners the Gruinard…

  • Darling of Panama

    Enrique Chaves-Carballo Kansas City, Kansas, United States Samuel Taylor Darling, widely considered as the foremost American tropical parasitologist and pathologist of his time, was born in Harrison, New Jersey on April 6, 1872. He studied medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore, graduating in 1903 at the top of his class and…

  • How conflict and bureaucracy delayed the elimination of yellow fever

    Edward McSweegan Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   Army Surgeon General George Miller Sternberg. US government photo. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. The Golden Age of Bacteriology (1876–1906) saw the emergence of techniques to cultivate bacterial pathogens and develop vaccines and anti-toxin therapies against them. The new bacteriologists rapidly identified the agents causing anthrax, gonorrhea, typhoid,…