1887

Chapter 15 : The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera

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The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Robert Koch was about to embark on a new venture. Cholera had broken out in Egypt and threatened to move into Europe again—it had been absent since the Hamburg epidemic of 1866. One of the most dreaded diseases of humans, cholera must not be allowed to enter Europe. His work on tuberculosis, begun only two years earlier, was set aside, and he would not return to further work on this disease until 1890 when he began his controversial work on tuberculin. The mysterious appearance and disappearance of cholera was completely unexplained, but the fear of cholera was widespread and when a new epidemic spread from India to Asia Minor and Egypt in 1883, great concern was expressed in many European countries. Extensive animal inoculation studies were carried out, using monkeys, dogs, cats, chickens, and mice, looking for a suitable animal model. In all cases in which the typical clinical symptoms of cholera were present, a characteristic bacterium was found in the tissue of the intestine. Today, more than 100 years after its etiology was explained by Robert Koch, cholera remains an important public health problem.

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, p 140-168. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch15

Key Concept Ranking

Anthrax Vaccine
0.503937
Infectious Diseases
0.4779777
Cholera
0.46743473
Vibrio cholerae
0.44012135
0.503937
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Figures

Image of Figure 15.1
Figure 15.1

Members of the German Cholera Expedition of 1883-84. From the left: Gaffky, Treskow (standing), Koch, Fischer.

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, p 140-168. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch15
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Image of Figure 15.2
Figure 15.2

Koch's drawings of microscopic observations, (a) Section of intestinal epithelium from a cholera patient. The comma bacilli are labeled b and c. (b) Cover glass preparation from the intestinal contents of a cholera patient. Characteristic groupings of comma bacilli are labeled in c. (c) Cover glass preparation of cholera stool incubated 2 days on moist linen. The bacteria have multiplied extensively.

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, p 140-168. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch15
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Image of Figure 15.3
Figure 15.3

Cholera in Alexandria (solid line). Also shown are total numbers of deaths (dotted line).

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, p 140-168. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch15
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Image of Figure 15.4
Figure 15.4

The building in Calcutta where Koch carried out his laboratory work on cholera. Photographed in 1983 by Professor Hanspeter Mochmann.

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, p 140-168. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch15
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Image of Figure 15.5
Figure 15.5

Pure cultures of the cholera vibrio, (a) Koch's drawings of colonies on a nutrient gelatin plate, (b) Lower magnification, showing characteristic colonies (labeled a), (c) Pure culture growing in nutrient gelatin stab, (d) Cover glass preparation of a pure culture, showing the long screw-shaped filaments that sometimes developed (labeled a), (e) Photograph of stab cultures from Gaffky's 1887 paper.

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, p 140-168. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch15
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Image of Figure 15.6
Figure 15.6

Drawing of a small community that was using drinking water from a concrete tank (Tank A) linked to a cholera outbreak. Koch and co-workers isolated cholera vibrios from this tank.

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, p 140-168. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch15
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References

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Tables

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Table 15.1

Catalog of Equipment and Supplies Taken to Egypt by the German Cholera Expedition

Citation: Brock T. 1999. The World Traveler: To Egypt and India in Search of Cholera, p 140-168. In Robert Koch. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818272.ch15

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