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Robert Koch – Biography – Free PDF Download

 

EARLY LIFE

  • Koch was born in Clausthal, Germany, on 11 December 1843, to Hermann Koch (1814–1877) and Mathilde Julie Henriette (née Biewend; 1818–1871).
  • Koch excelled academically from an early age. Before entering school in 1848, he had taught himself how to read and write.
  • He graduated from high school in 1862, having excelled in science and math.At the age of 19, Koch entered the University of Göttingen, studying natural science.

CAREER

  • In his sixth semester, Koch began to research at the Physiological Institute, where he studied the secretion of succinic acid.In January 1866, Koch graduated from medical school, earning honors of the highest distinction.
  • Several years after his graduation in 1866, he worked as a surgeon in the Franco-Prussian War. From 1880 to 1885, Koch held a position as government advisor with the Imperial Department of Health.
  • Koch’s early research in this laboratory yielded one of his major contributions to the field of microbiology, as he developed the technique of growing bacteria.From 1885 to 1890, he served as an administrator and professor at Berlin University.
  • In 1891, Koch relinquished his Professorship and became a director of the Prussian Institute for Infectious Diseases [de] which consisted of a clinical division and beds for the division of clinical research. For this he accepted harsh conditions. The Prussian Ministry of Health insisted after the 1890 scandal with tuberculin, which Koch had discovered and intended as a remedy for tuberculosis, that any of Koch’s inventions would unconditionally belong to the government and he would not be compensated. Koch lost the right to apply for patent protection

FOUR POSTULATES

  • During his time as government advisor, Koch published a report, in which he stated the importance of pure cultures in isolating disease-causing organisms and explained the necessary steps to obtain these cultures, methods which are summarized in Koch’s four postulates.
  1. The organism must always be present, in every case of the disease.
  2. The organism must be isolated from a host containing the disease and grown in pure culture.
  3. Samples of the organism taken from pure culture must cause the same disease when inoculated into a healthy, susceptible animal in the laboratory.
  4. The organism must be isolated from the inoculated animal and must be identified as the same original organism first isolated from the originally diseased host

FOUR POSTULATES

  • During his time as government advisor, Koch published a report, in which he stated the importance of pure cultures in isolating disease-causing organisms and explained the necessary steps to obtain these cultures, methods which are summarized in Koch’s four postulates.
  1. The organism must always be present, in every case of the disease.
  2. The organism must be isolated from a host containing the disease and grown in pure culture.
  3. Samples of the organism taken from pure culture must cause the same disease when inoculated into a healthy, susceptible animal in the laboratory.
  4. The organism must be isolated from the inoculated animal and must be identified as the same original organism first isolated from the originally diseased host

 

WORKS

  • At the time, it was widely believed that tuberculosis was an inherited disease. However, Koch was convinced that the disease was caused by a bacterium and was infectious, and tested his four postulates using guinea pigs.
  • Through these experiments, he found that his experiments with tuberculosis satisfied all four of his postulates.
  • In 1882, he published his findings on tuberculosis, in which he reported the causative agent of the disease to be the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

WORKS

  • Koch next turned his attention to cholera, and began to conduct research in Egypt in the hopes of isolating the causative agent of the disease.
  • However, he was not able to complete the task before the epidemic in Egypt ended, and after a short trip to Persia traveled to India to continue with the study.
  • In 1884 in Bombay state of India Koch resided and researched at Grant Medical College where he was able to determine the causative agent of cholera, isolating Vibrio cholerae.

WORKS

  • Koch observed the phenomenon of acquired immunity. On December 26, 1900, he arrived as part of an expedition to German New Guinea, which was then a protectorate of the German Reich.
  • Koch serially examined the Papuan people, the indigenous inhabitants, and their blood samples and noticed they contained Plasmodium parasites, the cause of malaria.
  • The longer they had stayed in the country, however, the more they too seemed to develop a resistance against it

NOBEL PRIZE

  • In 1905, Koch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work with tuberculosis.
  • On 9 April 1910, Koch suffered a heart attack and never made a complete recovery.
  • On 27 May, three days after giving a lecture on his tuberculosis research at the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Koch died in Baden-Baden at the age of 66.

 

 

 

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