ContributionSwallowed cholera bacteria in attempt to show that it was not a sufficient cause of disease.
NotesMax von Pettenkofer, pioneer in public health. In swallowing a culture of the bacteria (vibrios reported by Koch as the agent of cholera) Pettenkofer was not denying that the microbes played a role in the causation of cholera. Rather, he was trying to demonstrate that, in the absence of other (soil-related) factors, the bacteria would not cause the disease. Pettenkofer did not acquire cholera, and concluded that his position was thereby supported. Similar self-inoculations were later made by others, but were abandoned when their danger became apparent.
Pathogen ClassBacteria

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