Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: infections

  • Koch’s postulates revisited

    JMS PearceHull, 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 of the…

  • The Quaker and the Jew, an enduring and impactful friendship: Thomas Hodgkin and Moses Montefiore

    Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   Obelisk over Hodgkin grave site in Jaffa, Israel. Moses Montefiore, on his return to England, purchased a column of Aberdeen granite nine feet tall and had it inscribed with a lengthy tribute to Hodgkin “as a mark of my respect and esteem.” It was transported to…

  • Albert C. Barnes, MD: the physician who spun silver into gold

    Sylvia Karasu New York, New York, United States   Argyrol, the compound developed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Dr. Hermann Hille to treat ophthalmia neonatorum, a conjunctivitis that led to blindness in newborns then caused by gram-negative gonococcus bacteria. Infection was contracted from mothers during vaginal delivery. Credit: Argyrol bottle, c. 1902-1907, Barnes &…

  • Animality revisited in times of the coronavirus: A fable

    Frank Gonzalez-CrussiChicago, Illinois, United States Imagine, as painters have done, representatives of animal species congregated in an assembly (Fig. 1). A man comes to address this motley crowd in this way: “You guys [he purposefully adopts this condescending language] have recently wronged us. Let me start by reminding you that you did not discover fire;…

  • La Couronne

    Sophia Wilson New Zealand   Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. NIAID. CC BY 2.0  Virions, under an electron microscope, resemble a crown. An artist’s soft hued roses and golds, belie the sinister underbelly, the forked tongue. Everything suddenly looks a whole lot different; Today an elderly woman inclined over walking frame, inches down supermarket aisles in search of weekly…

  • Theme

    EPIDEMICS Published in March, 2020 H E K T O R A M A   . The recent coronavirus outbreak inevitably brings to mind the Spanish flu, the deadly influenza pandemic of a century ago. Here we republish seven articles about this devastating viral disease that spread to the four corners of the world, killing…

  • Vampires and blood trafficking: The International Red Cross campaign against third-world plasma collection in the 1970s

    William SchneiderIndianapolis, Indiana, United States One of the cornerstones of the WHO Blood Safety program is the voluntary donation of blood. According to the WHO Fact Sheet No. 279 (June 2015), all Member States are urged “to develop national blood systems based on voluntary unpaid donation.” The reason is, An adequate and reliable supply of…