Robert Koch Research Paper

693 Words 3 Pages
For centuries, tuberculosis was thought to be an insidious, implacable theft of life, the germ of death itself. When a person was diagnosed with tuberculosis it was like a death sentence. Its cause was unknown until in 1882 German physician and scientist Robert Koch discovered the bacterium that causes the disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This discovery has contributed to many other important events across multiple scientific disciplines. It is what lead him to receive the Nobel Prize and is the reason we are all here today.

One of the most important contributions that Robert Koch made to the scientific community was the formulation of Koch’s postulates, which are 4 criteria which help to establish the causative agent of a particular disease, and these agents can be things like bacteria or viruses. Although the germ theory of disease existed long before him, Koch was the first person to link a specific bacterium to a specific disease.

In the case of TB, Koch’s first step was to determine what exactly caused the disease. To do this, he developed various techniques for staining and growing bacteria which are still used today. What he found was a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis which mainly effects the lungs. This kind of bacteria is intracellular which means that it lives inside a host cell, specifically
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While it wasn’t effective as a vaccine, it has become an important diagnostic tool to see whether someone has been infected with tuberculosis bacteria. This then allows the appropriate course of treatment to be taken. Since then, a vaccine that protects against the most severe forms of the disease has been developed and led to a decrease in death rates particularly in children. Although it hasn’t been eradicated completely, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of tuberculosis deaths since Koch’s initial

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