ContributionReported parasitic (acarine) causation of scabies.
NotesGarrison says the parasitic nature of scabies "had been noted by the Arabians". See Wichmann (1786). The itch mite lies more-or less at the threshold of visibility of the unaided human eye. It can be described as a microorganism, although, by convention, it is not usually included in the concept of "microbe" or "germ." Mange in domestic animals, and scabies in humans, were known in antiquity, and references to these diseases are frequent in ancient literature (see, for example, Raffaele Roncalli Amici, Veterinary Parasitology 98: 3-30, 2001). Bonomo's work can be regarded as the first account of disease causation by a specific microorganism. It was an outstanding piece of biological research, and a contribution to the demise of the theory of Spontaneous Generation. Nevertheless it was negligible as a factor in the evolution of the Germ Theory because (a) it was ahead of its time, in that it preceded the observations and debates that led to the Germ Theory in the 19th century, and (b) it dealt with an endemic skin disease.
Pathogen ClassGeneral

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