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Laveran's germ: the reception and use of a medical discovery.

Abstract

The research efforts to identify the etiological agent of malarial fevers during the decade 1880-1890 are traced and the various factors which facilitated and retarded research are examined. Alphonse Laveran's original announcement of his observation of the malaria parasite was regarded with great skepticism. This was a result of a rival claim of a bacterial cause of malarial fevers, advanced by Edwin Klebs and Corrado Tommasi-Crudeli, and because of the failure of Laveran's germ to explain the clinical diversity and pathophysiology of malaria. Changes in research technology, particularly the effective use of aniline dye stains, made possible greater precision in the study of the blood of malaria patients and in the subsequent understanding of the asexual phase of the plasmodium life cycle by Ettore Marchiafava and Angelo Celli. Until 1886, however, the study of the plasmodium was confined to a small group of researchers whose work was regarded with considerable reserve by the medical profession. Early in 1886, when Camillo Golgi coordinated the life cycle of the organism with the clinical course of the different types of malarial fever, clinicians became interested in the work. By 1890 Laveran's germ was generally accepted but most of Laveran's initial ideas had been discarded in favor of the taxonomic work and clinical pathology of the Italian school.

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    MeSH

    Animals
    Erythrocytes
    France
    History, 19th Century
    Humans
    Italy
    Malaria
    Plasmodium
    Rabbits
    Staining and Labeling
    United States

    Pub Type(s)

    Biography
    Historical Article
    Journal Article
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    2578751

    Citation

    Smith, D C., and L B. Sanford. "Laveran's Germ: the Reception and Use of a Medical Discovery." The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, vol. 34, no. 1, 1985, pp. 2-20.
    Smith DC, Sanford LB. Laveran's germ: the reception and use of a medical discovery. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1985;34(1):2-20.
    Smith, D. C., & Sanford, L. B. (1985). Laveran's germ: the reception and use of a medical discovery. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 34(1), pp. 2-20.
    Smith DC, Sanford LB. Laveran's Germ: the Reception and Use of a Medical Discovery. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1985;34(1):2-20. PubMed PMID: 2578751.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Laveran's germ: the reception and use of a medical discovery. AU - Smith,D C, AU - Sanford,L B, PY - 1985/1/1/pubmed PY - 1985/1/1/medline PY - 1985/1/1/entrez SP - 2 EP - 20 JF - The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene JO - Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. VL - 34 IS - 1 N2 - The research efforts to identify the etiological agent of malarial fevers during the decade 1880-1890 are traced and the various factors which facilitated and retarded research are examined. Alphonse Laveran's original announcement of his observation of the malaria parasite was regarded with great skepticism. This was a result of a rival claim of a bacterial cause of malarial fevers, advanced by Edwin Klebs and Corrado Tommasi-Crudeli, and because of the failure of Laveran's germ to explain the clinical diversity and pathophysiology of malaria. Changes in research technology, particularly the effective use of aniline dye stains, made possible greater precision in the study of the blood of malaria patients and in the subsequent understanding of the asexual phase of the plasmodium life cycle by Ettore Marchiafava and Angelo Celli. Until 1886, however, the study of the plasmodium was confined to a small group of researchers whose work was regarded with considerable reserve by the medical profession. Early in 1886, when Camillo Golgi coordinated the life cycle of the organism with the clinical course of the different types of malarial fever, clinicians became interested in the work. By 1890 Laveran's germ was generally accepted but most of Laveran's initial ideas had been discarded in favor of the taxonomic work and clinical pathology of the Italian school. SN - 0002-9637 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/2578751/full_citation L2 - http://www.ajtmh.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=2578751 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -