This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Omissions? Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Girolamo-Fracastoro, Fact Monster - People - Biography of Girolamo Fracastoro. Start studying Germ Theory of Disease Quiz. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. This became the foundation of the modern medicine since then. Beginning sometime in the nineteenth century, science began replacing the millennial old practice of midwifery, and physicians began delivering babies in hospitals. Cutaneous Anthrax lesions. Girolamo Fracastoro, Latin Hieronymus Fracastorius, (born c. 1478, Verona, Republic of Venice [now in Italy]—died Aug. 8, 1553, Caffi [now Affi], near Verona), Italian physician, poet, astronomer, and geologist, who proposed a scientific germ theory of disease more than 300 years before its empirical formulation by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. He was notthe first to propose that diseases were caused by microscopic organisms, but the view was controversial in the 19th century, and opposed the accepted theory of “spontaneous generation”. During Louis Pasteur's lifetime it was not easy for him to convince others of his ideas, which were controversial in their time but are considered absolutely correct today. Their growth and reproduction within their hosts can cause disease. It was believed that individuals could contract disease by inhaling foul-smelling air associated with contaminated drinking water, unsanitary conditions, and air pollution. Historical Background. The Establishment of Germ Theory of Disease, Applications and Importance of the Germ Theory of Disease. It was not widely accepted until the late 1800s when it was strongly supported by experimental evidence provided by Louis Pasteur. His theories were ahead of their time, and it took about 200 years for the microscope to be invented and his theories to be proved. Knowledge that microorganisms can cause disease spawned efforts to prevent the microbes from coming into contact with people, food, water, and other materials. (2013). Biology. Nicholas F. Gray, in Microbiology of Waterborne Diseases (Second Edition), 2014. Proving the germ theory of disease was the crowning achievement of the French scientist Louis Pasteur. For example, in ancient Greece, it was thought that disease was spread not via direct contact with other infected individuals, but rather via infectious “seeds” in the air or food products. Corrections? follow. He further suggested that infections spread from person to person by minute invisible seeds, or seminaria, that are self-replicating and act on the humors of the body to cause disease. Support for the germ theory of disease began to accumulate in the early nineteenth century. The Germ Theory of disease states that illness is caused by germ like substances, it was first suggested in the fourth century B.C. The challenge of AIDS has shown us how far science can go in devising antivirals, if the will is there. The first thing we should clarify is just what we mean by the “germ theory of disease”. The scientist most credited with the disease is Dr John Snow who was the first to make a scientific link between water pollution and cholera epidemics in Victorian London and Louis Pasteur who would prove it in France. However, with the subsequent development of new experimental work, research and new theories of different researchers surfacing, the older theories were replaced. followin. It wasn’t until Louis Pasteur came along and proposed the germ theory of disease that the fields of modern microbiology and medicine were born. (2 ed.). Bassi’s work served to influence Louis Pasteur, who is accredited wit… Essentials of Medical Microbiology. The practices of disinfection, sterilization, personal hygiene, and proper food preparation have their basis in germ theory. At the University of Padua Fracastoro was a colleague of the astronomer Copernicus. Besides these, the observations and actions of Ignaz Semmelweis, Joseph Lister and John Snow would retrospectively be acknowledged as contributing to the acceptance of germ theory. Later, Agostino Bassi in the early 1800’s conducted a series of experiments which demonstrated that a disease afflicting silkworms at the time was caused by a parasite. Textbook of Microbiology & Immunology. Made with ♡ by Sagar Aryal. F. Disease Causation 1. 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