How a few scientists transformed the way we think about disease


The Dramatic Origin of Germ Theory

What is the Germ Theory of Diseases?

The Germ Theory of diseases is the latest proven scientific theory that states that certain diseases are caused by the invasion or attack of microorganisms, that is, pathogens or germs on the body.

Who discovered the Germ theory of diseases?

Role of Louis Pasteur:

Germ Theory of diseases was first published by Louis Pasteur in 1861. His published theory stated and proved that pathogens(or germs) caused diseases.  In 1865, Pasteur proved the link between germs and disease. In 1879, he discovered a vaccine for chicken cholera. He found the weakness of the germs or pathogens that caused it. He found out that the germ, when exposed to air weakens, thus introducing the weakened germ into chickens can prevent them from catching the disease. This was the first discovery that leads to many other discoveries of medicines and vaccines.

Role of Robert Koch:

Rober Koch was the first one to conclude and establish the fact that infectious diseases are caused by germs(or pathogens). He came to this conclusion after his experimentation on the blood of cows died due to anthrax. Koch examined a sample of the blood of a cow died due to the disease, anthrax. He observed a rod-shaped bacteria through his microscope and suspected that the bacteria caused anthrax. His conclusions and discoveries seemed unacceptable for the community, even the government ignored his theories and suggestions  unable to move on think behind the age-old Miasma Theory.

Role of Ignaz Semmelweis:

Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian gynecologist, played a prominent role in the discovery of antiseptic procedures. He discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever could be drastically cut out by implementing the usage of handwashing or hand disinfection. This  turned out to be a great invention as a simple thing like hand washing could  wipe out all the antibiotic-resistant germs or pathogens.

What is Miasma Theory?

Miasma Theory was an obsolete predominant medical theory. It was the popular theory that defined the cause of diseases in age-old times. According to Miasma Theory, the infectious diseases such as cholera, chlamydia, and black death were caused by miasma, a poisonous air known as night air that emerged from decaying matter.

The Miasma Theory was popular in old times because it explained why the epidemic struck and diseases spread mostly in the undrained, filthy, and stinking areas, mostly inhabited by the poor. This theory appealed to the English reformers.

When Robert Kuch tried to establish the fact about disease-causing microorganisms, no one approved it due to the popularity and acceptance of the Miasma theory.

The Germ theory of diseases was finally approved and accepted after the discovery and publishing by Louis Pasteur.

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