Pasteur Institute: Timeline of key events

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Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist who is best known for inventing a sterilisation method for slowing down the development of microbes in milk and wine, a process now called pasteurisation. He also made significant breakthroughs in understanding the causes and prevention of bacterial diseases. His work was instrumental in helping to reduce the mortality rate from puerperal fever, a major cause of death for women in childbirth in the 19th century. Pasteur also pioneered the first rabies vaccine.1822-12-27T00:00:00+0000Mechnikov was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1908 for his discovery of phagocytes (macrophages), a type of immune cell that protects the body by ingesting harmful foreign substances like bacteria and dead or dying cells. He made the discovery in 1882 while studying an unusual group of cells that clustered around thorns he pinned into starfish larvae. Based on this work he hypothesised that inflammation resulted from the process by which white blood cells attacked and destroyed bacteria. The scientific community took time to accept this idea. 1845-05-16T00:00:00+0000Laveran was a physician who was one of the first to show protozoan parasites were the cause of disease. He first made the link in 1880 after finding parasites in a blood smear taken from a patient who had just died from malaria. This parasite would later be called Plasmodium. Laveran subsequently identified Trypanosoma, another protozoan parasite, was the cause of trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness). In 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize on the back of these discoveries. Laveran devoted half of his prize money to set up the Laboratory of Tropical Medicine at the Pasteur Institute where he was Chief of the Honorary Service.1845-06-18T00:00:00+0000Émile Roux was a physician, bacteriologist and immunologist who made his name working on diphtheria, a once fatal disease. In 1883 he helped to show that the disease was caused by a toxin secreted by the diphtheria bacillus. Based on this discovery and subsequent work by others that animals produce antibodies against the diphtheria toxin, Roux managed to develop a serum therapy to combat the disease. The treatment was proven effective in a trial conducted at the Hopital des Enfants-Malades with 300 diseased children.1853-11-17T00:00:00+0000Calmette was a physician and bacteriologist who is credited with the discovery that the virulence of bovine tubercle bacilli is weakened when cultured on bile-containing medium. Discovered in 1908, this laid paved the way to the development of the tuberculosis vaccine Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). The vaccine was first used in newborn infants in Paris in 1921. Calmette also developed a diagnostic test for tuberculosis, known as Calmette's reaction. 1863-07-12T00:00:00+0000Bordet was a physician, immunologist and microbiologist who won the 1919 Nobel Prize for his discovery of two components in the blood - antibodies and complement proteins. The two component help destroy invading bacteria by rupturing the cell walls of the bacteria, a process known as bacteriolysis. Bordet made the discovery in 1895. Three years later Bordet observed that red blood cells from one animal species injected into another get destroyed by haemolysis - a process analogous to bacteriolysis. His finding led to the development of diagnostic tests that hunt for antibodies in the blood to detect infectious agents. The first one was for typhoid, developed in 1896.1870-06-13T00:00:00+0000d'Herelle was a microbiologist who co-discovered bacteriophages (phages), viruses that infect bacteria that are now major tools in biotechnology. He isolated the first phage from chicken faeces in 1919. Following this he successfully treated chicken affected by a plague of typhus with the phage and in August 1919 cured a patient with dysentery using the same method. This laid the basis for the development of phage therapy. 1873-04-25T00:00:00+0000Louis Pasteur develops an attenuated chicken cholera vaccine1879-01-01T00:00:00+0000Louis Pasteur successfully tested his rabies vaccine on a nine year old boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog.1885-07-06T00:00:00+0000Jules Bordet, a Belgian immunologist and microbiologist, on the basis of experiments heating fresh serum containing antibacterial antibodies, detects the presence of a substance, initially called alexin or complement which appears to act as an accessory to antibodies, taking on the role of destroying antigens.1895-01-01T00:00:00+0000Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist who is best known for inventing a sterilisation method for slowing down the development of microbes in milk and wine, a process now called pasteurisation. He also made significant breakthroughs in understanding the causes and prevention of bacterial diseases. His work was instrumental in helping to reduce the mortality rate from puerperal fever, a major cause of death for women in childbirth in the 19th century. Pasteur also pioneered the first rabies vaccine.1895-09-28T00:00:00+0000An English bacteriologist, Ernest Hanbury Hankin, described a substance taken from the Ganga and Jumma rivers in India, that could destroy cholera-inducing bacteria. He found the substance to be smaller than bacteria. E.H. Hankin, 'L’action "bactéricide des eaux de la Jumna et du Gange sur le vibrion du cholera', Annals Institute Pasteur, 10 (1896) 511-23.1896-01-01T00:00:00+0000Lwoff was a microbiologist. He shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis'. This was based on work he carried out in the early 1950s to understand lysogeny. This is the process by which some the genes of some viruses, bacteriophages (phage), get incorporated into the genetic material of a bacteria but remain latent until the formation of a new phage triggered by a particular event. He found that exposure to ultraviolet light was one factor that could spur on the development a new phage. Lwoff also discovered that vitamins help promote growth in microbes and can serve as co-enzymes. 1902-05-08T00:00:00+0000Mechnikov was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1908 for his discovery of phagocytes (macrophages), a type of immune cell that projects the body by ingesting harmful foreign substances like bacteria and dead or dying cells. He made the discovery in 1882 while studying an unusual group of cells that clustered around thorns he pinned into starfish larvae. Based on this work he hypothesised that inflammation resulted from the process by which white blood cells attacked and destroyed bacteria. The scientific community took time to accept this idea.1916-07-15T00:00:00+0000The term was coined by Felix d'Herelle, a French-Canadian microbiologist, after he noticed anti-Shigella microbes in the filtrate of dysentery fluids taken from patients recovering from shigellosis F. d'Herelle, 'Sur un microbe invisible antagoniste des bacilles dysentériques', Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Sciences', 165 (1917), 373-5.1917-09-10T00:00:00+0000Monod was a biochemist who, together with Francois Jacob, worked out the genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis based on their experiments with Escherichia coli in the early 1960s. They proposed that a messenger molecule in cells carried codes from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the site of protein synthesis in the cell's cytoplasm. This molecule was later called messenger RNA. Based on his work Monrod was awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1965. 1920-06-07T00:00:00+0000Jacob was a French biologist who on the back of experiments in bacteria with Jacques Monod provided the first evidence of the existence and role of an intermediary molecule, now known as messenger RNA, which carries genetic information from genes to the cell's protein factories for the production of specific proteins. He shared the Nobel Prize in 1965 for 'discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.'1920-06-17T00:00:00+0000Laveran was a French physician who was one of the first to show protozoan parasites were the cause of disease. He first made the link in 1880 after finding parasites in a blood smear taken from a patient who had just died from malaria. This parasite would later be called Plasmodium. Laveran subsequently identified Trypanosoma, another protozoan parasite, was the cause of trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness). In 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize on the back of these discoveries. Laveran devoted half of his prize money to set up the Laboratory of Tropical Medicine at the Pasteur Institute where he was Chief of the Honorary Service. 1922-05-18T00:00:00+0000Jules Bordet and Oskar Bail showed phages to have two reproductive patterns: the lysogenic and lytic cycles. In the case of lysogeny, the phage's nucleic acid is inserted into the bacterial host's genome. The inserted phage's DNA, called a prophage, then gets replicated alongside the host's normal reproduction cycle. By contrast in the lytic cycle the the virus replicates separately from the host bacterial DNA and eventually triggers a cell lysis to release its progeny. O. Bail, Med. Klin. (Munich) 21 (1925), 1271–73; J. Bordet, Ann. Inst. Pasteur, 39 (2005), 711–63.1925-01-01T00:00:00+0000Carried out by J. Morison from King Edward VII Pasteur Institute, India, under the auspices of the Bacteriophage Inquiry, the study suffered from poor staff cooperation.1928-01-01T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
27 Dec 1822Louis Pasteur was bornPasteurPasteur InstituteBacteriology
16 May 1845Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov was born in Kharkov (now Kharkiv), Russian Empire (now Ukraine)MechnikovPasteur InstituteImmunology
18 Jun 1845Charles L Alphonse Laveran was born in Paris, FranceLaveranPasteur InstituteInfectious diseases
17 Nov 1853Pierre Paul Émile RouxEmile RouxPasteur InstituteBacteriology, Infectious diseases, Immunology
12 Jul 1863Albert Calmette was born in Nice, FranceCalmettePasteur InstituteVaccines
13 Jun 1870Jules Bordet was born in Soignies, BelgiumBordetPasteur InstituteAntibodies, Immunology, Diagnostics
25 Apr 1873Felix d'Herelle was born in Montreal, Canadad'HerellePasteur InstituteAntibacterial agents, Bacteriophages, Bacteriology, Virology, Phage therapy
1879Chicken cholera vaccine developedPasteurPasteur InstituteBacteriology, Vaccines
1885First rabies vaccine testedPasteurPasteur InstituteBacteriology, Vaccines
1895Complement detected to be an accessory to antibodiesBordetPasteur InstituteAntibodies
28 Sep 1895Louis Pasteur diedPasteurPasteur InstituteBacteriology, Vaccine
1896First observation of substance with potential antibacterial activityHankinPasteur InstituteBacteriophages
8 May 1902Andre Lwoff was born in Ainay-le-Chateau, FranceLwoffPasteur InstituteMicrobiology, Virology
15 Jul 1916Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov diedMechnikovPasteur InstituteImmunology
10 Sep 1917Term 'bacteriophage' coined for first timed'HerellePasteur InstituteBacteriophages, Phage therapy
7 Jun 1920Jacques Monod was born in Nancy, FranceMonodPasteur InstituteGenetics
17 Jun 1920Francois Jacob was born in Nancy, FranceJacobPasteur InstituteGenetics
18 May 1922Charles L Alphonse Laveran diedLaveranPasteur InstituteInfectious diseases
1 Jan 1925Bacteriophages shown to have two different reproductive cyclesBordet, BailPasteur InstitutePhage therapy
1928 - 1929Study of phage therapy conducted in Assam, India, failed to collect sufficient evidence to prove efficacy of phage treatment for choleraMorisonKing Edward VII Pasteur Institute, IndiaPhage therapy

27 Dec 1822

Louis Pasteur was born

16 May 1845

Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov was born in Kharkov (now Kharkiv), Russian Empire (now Ukraine)

18 Jun 1845

Charles L Alphonse Laveran was born in Paris, France

17 Nov 1853

Pierre Paul Émile Roux

12 Jul 1863

Albert Calmette was born in Nice, France

13 Jun 1870

Jules Bordet was born in Soignies, Belgium

25 Apr 1873

Felix d'Herelle was born in Montreal, Canada

1879

Chicken cholera vaccine developed

1885

First rabies vaccine tested

1895

Complement detected to be an accessory to antibodies

28 Sep 1895

Louis Pasteur died

1896

First observation of substance with potential antibacterial activity

8 May 1902

Andre Lwoff was born in Ainay-le-Chateau, France

15 Jul 1916

Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov died

10 Sep 1917

Term 'bacteriophage' coined for first time

7 Jun 1920

Jacques Monod was born in Nancy, France

17 Jun 1920

Francois Jacob was born in Nancy, France

18 May 1922

Charles L Alphonse Laveran died

1 Jan 1925

Bacteriophages shown to have two different reproductive cycles

1928 - 1929

Study of phage therapy conducted in Assam, India, failed to collect sufficient evidence to prove efficacy of phage treatment for cholera

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