Lecture 14 - The Germ Theory of Disease Friday, April 10, 2015 7:55 AM Germ Theory of Disease Taken us half a course to reach a period where one can see development of modern scientific medicine o Enormous theory but to understand its magnitude, must compare 1789 with 1900 Before 1789 and Paris School of Medicine, conceptual framework was dominated by Galen\Hippocrates\humoral medicine o Humoral medicine weakening, seeing rise of ideas about different body systems (circulatory\nervous) but medical philosophy, vocabulary and therapeutics , medical education all cast in old framework Supplemented by other developments in astrology or miasma causing epidemic diseases (malaria was another name for miasma at the time) 1900, more change had occurred that in all of the centuries since Hippocrates combined o Medical science had similar basic principles today and had emerged by this time Speed of change accelerating during course of 19th century End of century saw a revolution, germ theory of disease as its central feature o Theory was as important a revolution in medicine as Galileo's theory or Darwin's theory was for their disciplines What is the Germ theory\preconditions\decisive figures\decisive events linked with Pasteur, Lister, Koch o Implications? Avoid idea of a single genius coming up with one great idea (Nobel Prize) These discoveries that culminate in germ theory had a long gestation, were a collective progress that needed many preconditions Preconditions Were conceptual, technological, and institutional Conceptual preconditions o Germ theory of disease did not come directly from Paris School\hospital medicine but it had important role Had to have nosology (disease classification\specificity) instead of localism New development of pathological anatomy derived from post- mortem in Paris hospitals o Specificity was critical, further progress towards idea of microbial disease depended on view that diseases did not transform from one to another Before Paris school, many people believed that cholera was a worse form of endemic summer diarrhea Not a specific disease, grew out of another pre-existing condition Germ theory: stable\unchanging disease entities, each specific with specific microbial cause Pierre Louis and his followers did classify\distinguish different diseases from each other but did not advance much towards idea of causative pathogens behind them o Not all figures in the advance of disease specificity were French William Gerhard= distinguished typhus from typhoid, studied in Paris under Louis but returned to Philadelphia where he was from
Dissected cadavers of those who died from typhus, lesions not similar to those ill from typhoid William Budd wrote Typhoid Fever and Its Nature, Mode of Spreading and Prevention in 1873 Disease specific and unchanging, like animals and plants (but this was not acknowledged before) Pierre Bretonneau believed that there were morbid seeds that cause special disease
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 8 pages?