Contributiona. Reported immunization by attenuation of a bacterium -- the agent of fowl cholera.
NotesOriginal French text and English translation given by Brock 1961. Pasteur reported that old cultures of the fowl cholera agent (now Pasteurella septica) lost virulence but induced protective immunity in chickens. The discovery became legendary: said to have been founded on a chance event (inadvertent aging) but supported by well-controlled experiment. It was the first vaccine to be intentionally based on the "attenuation" of a virulent micro-organism. Jenner's smallpox vaccine, introduced almost a century earlier, worked through a similar biological mechanism -- but that mechanism was unknown. The celebrated chance event (above) has been shown by A. Cadeddu to be mythical; see Geison. Discovery was founded on work by Roux in Pasteur's group. The vaccination was announced in Feb. '80 but the method (exposure to atmospheric oxygen) was not disclosed until October. English translation of the paper is given by Bibel, who also discusses the myth of earlier accounts. Silverstein refers to this work as the first controlled experiment in immunology.
Pathogen ClassBacteria

Copyright © 2007- William C. Campbell.  All rights reserved.