Louis Pasteur

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  • Created on: 20-06-11 17:07
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Louis Pasteur discovered that most infectious diseases are caused by germs, known as the
"germ theory of disease," it is one of the most important discoveries in medical history.
The Germ Theory of Disease
Louis Pasteur's main contributions to microbiology and medicine were
instituting changes in hospital/medical practices to minimize the spread of disease by
microbes or germs,
discovering that weak forms of disease could be used as an immunization against
stronger forms and that rabies was transmitted by viruses too small to be seen under the
microscopes of the time,
introducing the medical world to the concept of viruses.
He was able to demonstrate that organisms such as bacteria were responsible for
souring wine and beer (he later extended his studies to prove that milk was the
same), and that the bacteria could be removed by boiling and then cooling the liquid.
This process is now called pasteurisation.
Pasteur then undertook experiments to find where these bacteria came from, and
was able to prove that they were introduced from the environment. This was disputed
by scientists who believed they could spontaneously generate.
. With no experience of the subject, Pasteur identified parasitic infections as the
cause and advocated that only diseasefree eggs should be selected. The industry
was saved.
Pasteur's various investigations convinced him of the rightness of the germ theory of
disease, which holds that germs attack the body from outside. Many felt that such tiny
organisms as germs could not possibly kill larger ones such as humans. Pasteur now
extended this theory to explain the causes of many diseases including anthrax, cholera,
TB and smallpox and their prevention by vaccination. He is best known for his work on
the development of vaccines for rabies.


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