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Lecture 2

MICR 2420 Lecture 2: Lecture 2_Intro_History

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University of Guelph
MICR 2420
Lucy Mutharia

Lecture 2: History and Intro to Microbes Antiseptics and Antibiotics Ignaz Semmelweis (18181865) was the first proponent of handwashing as an important process for physicians in hospitals People thought diseases were caused by air pollution Was common for women to die during or after child birth (puerperal fever) His views angered many doctors, who at first refused to accept his suggestions Hospital run by midwives had less deaths related to childbirth than the hospital run by physicians The physicians did not wash their hands even though they had a morgue and performed autopsies The midwives did not have a morgue so their hospital was more sanitary Wash the instruments in a solution He was institutionalized because he tried to get people to believe his theories but they did not agree He was beat to death by guards Joseph Lister (1827 1912) Pioneered the use of a clean (freefrom microbes) operating area for his patients Sprayed carbolic acid over wounds as it was being operated on Also met with some resistance to his methods at first! Listerine was initially a floor cleaner or used for gonorrhea Victorian paramedics were not effective at all! They did not help with diseases since they did not have much knowledge Alexander Flemming (18811995) One sometimes finds what one is not looking for He discovered that microbes can produce antibiotics Left something on his bench which then grew mold Have had many antibiotics produced since then The Discovery of Viruses Dmitry Ivanovsky (18641920): first realised that the causative agent of tobacco mosaic disease was much smaller than the microbes known at the time Used a ceramic filter to realize it was smaller than bacteria Martinus Beijerinch (18511931): realized the agent of the disease could not be a bacterial cell Wendell Stantely (1904 1971): processed 4000kg of infected tobacco leaves and purified the infectious virus by crystallization: virology was born! People did not discover them until recently Were much smaller than bacteria Not considered alive What is a Microbe? Not all microbes need a microscope to be seen True for viruses, need a powerful microscope to see them Some bacteria can be seen by the naked eye Thiomargarita namibiensis
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