Robert Koch - The British Empire

Robert Koch
Linking Bacteria to Human
Order of Progress
• A doctor who was Born in
Prussia in 1843
• Interested in Pasteur’s Germ
• He received a Microscope as
a present in 1873
• Franco – Prussian Rivalry
– Franco-Prussian War 1870/1
– German Government gave
Koch money to set up a
research institute to rival
Read Dialogue page
Isolating the Germs that
caused Anthrax
• Explain how 1 Sheep and 20
generations of mice allowed Koch to
prove that a particular germ caused
Anthrax. Explain why he succeeded?
Germ Cultures
• Koch’s isolation technique
pioneered the use of culture
– He extracted the blood from an
infected animal
– He found that if he injected an
animal with the infected blood it
would catch the disease much
– The more times he did this the
stronger the disease would
– Eventually, this germ could be
extracted and be encouraged to
breed a pure form in a glass
culture plate.
The Floodgates open
• Using Koch’s methods,
other scientists were able
to isolate and identify the
germs that caused
particular diseases
• List the causes of
diseases discovered in
the 1880s and 1890s
– Page 131
• However, knowing the
cause of these diseases
still did not help to treat
any sick patients, yet.
Pasteur Strikes back
Pasteur responds to Robert Koch
• Nationalistic Competition
– France humiliated by
Prussia in 1870/1 war
• French Government
agrees to finance Pasteur
– (Koch already receiving
German Government
• He had a stroke in 1868
– Feeling mortal?
Pasteur Strikes it Lucky
• Impressed by Jenner’s work on Smallpox
– But Jenner and Pasteur did not understand how
vaccination worked
– Trial and error
• Chicken Cholera, 1879
– Common disease affecting farmers livestock
– Pasteur experiments with injecting weaker forms of
disease into chickens
• Little success
• His team goes home for the summer
• On return, they accidentally use a strain that had been left
uncovered for the whole summer
• It works!
• Exposure to the air had weakened the germs
• “Chance only favours the mind which is prepared”
Pasteur perfects his
• Page 132
– Explain how and for what diseases,
Pasteur was able to develop and perfect
his system for creating vaccines.
• Task page 133
– “Why were the causes of disease finally
discovered in the 1860s and 1870s”